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Kidnapped Indian national freed in Afghanistan
May 18, 2008 15:59 IST
An Indian national, who was kidnapped by militants in Afghanistan nearly a month ago, was freed on Sunday following an operation by the security forces in that country, official sources in New Delhi said.
Muhammad Naeem, 40, who was kidnapped along with a Nepalese citizen on April 21, was in good condition, they said.
The men, contracted to supply logistics to Afghan police training camps, were kidnapped by unknown militants, while they were traveling in western Adraskan district bordering Iran. However, their Afghan driver was let off by the abductors.
The freed pair were now headed to Herat on their way to Kabul, the sources said. Naeem will then be brought back to India.
An AFP report from Herat province said the men were undergoing medical check-ups after their ordeal.
Intelligence forces had located the place where the two were held and launched a raid overnight, provincial intelligence chief Habibullah Habib was quoted as saying, adding that the head of the kidnapping group has been arrested while efforts were on to round up other suspects.
Taliban militants, often blamed for such abductions, never claimed responsibility. It was not clear who the abductors were.
Another Afghan official Sayed Ibrar Hashimi was quoted as saying that he did not believe any ransom was paid to free the Indian and 55-year-old Nepalese Gurong Karna Bahadur and that their release was due to efforts of the intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security.
The Indian was 'slightly ill' but both were physically and mentally fit and as a whole feeling well, he told AFP. The report said the pair had stated that they had not been harmed during captivity.