The Taliban released a video Wednesday purportedly showing two Western hostages, including an American, tearfully urging President-elect Donald Trump to negotiate with their captors to secure their release.

American Kevin King and an Australian, Timothy Weeks, were abducted in August outside ­Kabul’s American University of Afghanistan, where the two worked as English professors. U.S. Special Operations forces almost immediately launched a raid to rescue them but did not find the hostages at the compound where they were thought to be held.

The video emerged hours after the United Arab Emirates announced that five of its diplomats were killed Tuesday in blasts in Kandahar, underscoring the threats to foreigners working and living in Afghanistan.

The 13-minute video could not be independently verified, but it was emailed to reporters by a Taliban spokesman and circulated by the group’s social-media accounts.

Sitting in front of a light purple curtain, the two professors wept as they urged the U.S. government to agree to a prisoner exchange that would allow them to go free. The men appeared pale and were short of breath when speaking, and they often sobbed.

 

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