Afghanistan: June 11, 2005


An Italian aid worked, Clementina Cantoni was kidnapped on May 16th, and released today. It turned out that she was being held by a criminal gang, whose leader wanted to get friends, and his mother, out of prison. The government has arrested most members of the gang. Cantoni was apparently released when the kidnappers mother was released. But Cantoni identified her captor from Afghan police photographs, which led to the kidnappers being rounded up. This incident shows how much "anti-government" activity is just local criminals (who far outnumber Taliban or al Qaeda) going about their business.

In Kabul, a bomb, placed in a hand cart full of fruit, went off. There were no injuries.


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