Ransom demanded for abducted German

6th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 July 2007, Kabul (dpa) - Kidnappers who abducted a German national demanded a 40,000 US dollar ransom for his release, said an Afghan provincial governor on Thursday. "The kidnappers through villagers contacted our officials and demanded for 40,000 US dollar for his release," Ghulom Muhyuddin Baluch, Farah provincial governor, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. The German Foreign Ministry said that the German and his Afghan translator were kidnapped on June 28, however, Afghan provincial authorities c

6 July 2007

Kabul (dpa) - Kidnappers who abducted a German national demanded a 40,000 US dollar ransom for his release, said an Afghan provincial governor on Thursday.

    "The kidnappers through villagers contacted our officials and demanded for 40,000 US dollar for his release," Ghulom Muhyuddin Baluch, Farah provincial governor, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The German Foreign Ministry said that the German and his Afghan translator were kidnapped on June 28, however, Afghan provincial authorities confirmed on Wednesday that the two went missing the beginning of this week.

   Baluch said that he had asked Delaram district villagers to act as mediators to attempt to release the kidnapped man in a "peaceful way" and without any ransom or the "the government will use force."

"The government is not ready for any kind of deal with the kidnappers," Baluch said. "Our forces are trying to find out his whereabouts and secure his release by force."

He said that the "kidnappers are all the time moving from place to place so we can't identify their location."

   The German man introduced himself as a journalist when he arrived in Delaram district on Saturday or Sunday night and said he was headed to western Herat province. The police kept him for his own protection one night, but Baluch said he has not been seen since.

The German foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the missing German man was not a soldier, a journalist or a member of a German aid organization in Afghanistan.

Though Taliban spokesman Zabeeullah Mujahid said that they were not aware of the abduction, Baluch accused the militants of having the German man in their custody.

   It is the first kidnapping of a German in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. In April 1993 guerrillas seized German drug enforcement official Stefan Ehlert along with a Briton and a Dutch national near the border town of Spinbuldak. The trio was released after a month.

In March this year the Afghan government, under pressure from Italy, agreed to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for the freeing of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo.

   Germany currently has around 3,000 troops stationed with the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Most of them are confined to the relatively peaceful north where they form part of Provincial Reconstruction Teams building up infrastructure, schools and other institutions.

DPA

Subject: German news

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