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American held by al Qaeda in Pakistan urges Obama for help

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[December 26, 2013]  ISLAMABAD (Reuters)  A U.S. development worker kidnapped in Pakistan by al Qaeda two years ago appealed to President Barack Obama to intervene and help negotiate his release, in a video released on Thursday.

In a 13-minute clip issued by al Qaeda's media wing and posted on several news websites, Warren Weinstein, 72, looked gaunt and tired.

"I am not in good health. I have a heart condition. I suffer from acute asthma... Needless to say I've been suffering deep anxiety every part of every day," he said.

"Mr President, for the majority of my adult life, for over 30 years I've served my country ... Now when I need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten."

The video could not be independently verified.

Weinstein was abducted in 2011 in the eastern city of Lahore where he worked for a U.S. consulting company.

Pakistan's tribal areas on its border with Afghanistan serve as safe havens for al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups, and the Islamabad government has been under pressure from the United States to do more to eliminate the insurgency.

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina; editing by Louise Ireland)

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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