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Berlin says foreigners kidnapped in Iran

Published on 08/12/2003

8 December 2003

BERLIN – A German foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Monday that foreign nationals have been kidnapped in Iran but declined to give numbers or nationalities.

“The German government has information that foreigners have been kidnapped in Iran,” said deputy foreign ministry spokeswoman Antje Leendertse.

German nationals might be among those kidnapped and the foreign ministry had set up a crisis centre to deal with the case, she said.

In Teheran, the Iranian news service Rujdad reported earlier Monday that three German nationals had been abducted several days ago in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Belutschistan.

Reliable sources in Sahedan, the provice’s capital, said bandit groups had probably carried out the kidnapping. In 1999 three Spanish nationals and an Italian were abducted in the region and later released.

It is suspected that the bandits are seeking to win the release of members of their group who have been arrested, the sources said.

Subject: German news