Turks kidnapped 50 days ago in Afghanistan are freed

August 17, 2011 15:55


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Two Turkish citizens kidnapped 50 days ago in northern Afghanistan were freed by local security forces in a rescue operation late on Tuesday, Afghan officials said.

Faqir Mohamaad Jawzjani, deputy governor of the northern Jawzjan province, blamed the Taliban for the June kidnapping and said the Islamist group had demanded 25 million Afghanis ($530,000) for each, but Afghan officials did not pay. The Taliban denied involvement.

The Turks' captors kept the pair, who were working for a private firm in Afghanistan and whom Turkish media identified as Sami Bagdas and Mumin Ozel, at the bottom of a 40-meter (131 ft) dry well, Jawzjani said.

"The Taliban kept them with only one set of clothes for 50 days. Their feet and hands were tightly tied with chains. They were getting very little food each day," Jawzjani said. They were to be handed over to Turkish officials in the provincial capital Jawzjan later on Wednesday, he said.

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