'30 taken hostage by criminal gang' in S Iran

An unidentified criminal gang Sunday took at least 30 people hostage in the south-eastern Iranian province of Sistan- Beluchistan, ISNA news agency reported.

'30 taken hostage by criminal gang' in S Iran
An unidentified criminal gang Sunday took at least 30 people hostage in the south-eastern Iranian province of Sistan- Beluchistan, ISNA news agency reported.

It said the gang, firing weapons, blocked the road leading to the provincial city Chabahar and abducted the 30, mainly from a passing bus. Local police surrounded the area.

Gangs operating in the area, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, are usually involved in drug-trafficking, using kidnappings to force the release of imprisoned members.

A Belgian couple were last week abducted by a criminal band led by Ismael Shahbakhsh, who in return for their safe release demanded the release of his brother from a local prison.

The woman tourist was released but the husband remains captive.

In 2003, two Germans and an Irish citizen were abducted by bandit groups during a cycling trip near Zahedan, and were released after a month. It was unclear at that time whether a ransom was paid.

DPA
Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2007, 17:14
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