Afghani drug dealers demand ransom for hostages

Afghani drug dealers demand the ransom of $80,000 for three residents of the border village of Parfar, Tajikistan's Shurabad region, Nuralisho Nazarov, First Deputy Chairman of Tajikistan's State Border Protection Committee, announced on Wednesday.

According to him, the village dwellers "owed" to the Afghani smugglers, and the latter kidnapped 4 Tajik citizens, including a frontier guard, and transferred them to Afghanistan. A day later the criminals released a hostage, delivering a note with the ransom information.

At present active negotiations are being held with the kidnappers, Nazarov said. The Security Ministry officials, Tajikistan's state border protection committee staff and Russian frontier guards are doing their best to set the hostages free.

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