RealNews

Negotiators Seeking Release of Turkish Engineer

“To our dear Turkish friends and respected elders,” the kidnappers’ note began, continuing in flowery formal language until it reached the punch line. If the authorities did not release six Taliban prisoners, the life of Turkish engineer Hasan Onal might be in jeopardy. Onal, 45, one of several thousand Turks working on a mammoth, U.S.-funded project to repave the 310-mile highway between the capital, Kabul, and the southern city of Kandahar, was abducted by armed men Thursday while driving along the highway in Zabol province. His captors are believed to be fighters from the resurgent Taliban militia. Negotiations with the kidnappers have been conducted by satellite phone, Afghan and Turkish officials said Sunday, but no deal has been struck, and neither Onal nor the prisoners have been released. The officials said they were told the engineer was safe and in good health, and they said they were hopeful he would be freed. Full Story

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