Taliban seek $2 mn for Greek national | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban seek $2 mn for Greek national

The captors of a Greek national, kidnapped in northwest Pakistan last week, have demanded a ransom of $ two million and the release of three Afghan Taliban leaders in return for setting him free.

world Updated: Sep 21, 2009 01:19 IST

The captors of a Greek national, kidnapped in northwest Pakistan last week, have demanded a ransom of $ two million and the release of three Afghan Taliban leaders in return for setting him free.

Athanasios Lerounis was abducted from Bumbarate valley in the Chitral area of North West Frontier Province on
September 7 by gunmen who shot dead his bodyguard.

He had been living in Chitral for several years and was an employee of a development project working with the
reclusive Kalash tribals.

Former local government official Abdul Majid, who led a team to Afghanistan's Nooristan province for negotiations with the Taliban for Lerounis' release, told reporters yesterday that the Greek national was being held in Kamdesh area in

Afghanistan and was "safe and sound".

Members of Majid's delegation were allowed to meet Lerounis and were apprised of the conditions set by the
Taliban for his release.

The three Taliban leaders whose release has been sought by the militants are Ubaidullah Akhund, a former defence
minister in Mullah Omar's government, Mulla Yasir and Qari Rehmatuddin. All three men are reportedly in the custody of
Pakistani authorities.

Majid said he had informed authorities in Chitral about the conditions set by the Taliban for the Greek man's release.