Prominent Afghan doctor kidnapped, killed in northern city

A prominent doctor, according to his family, has been kidnapped and killed in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif

KABUL, Afghanistan – A prominent doctor was kidnapped and killed in northern Afghanistan, his family said Friday.

Mohamed Nader Alemi was abducted two months ago in the town of Mazar-i-Sharif and his kidnappers demanded a ransom for his release, his son Roheen Alemi said. The family eventually paid them $ 350,000, after negotiating their original claim for more than double, he said.

Despite the payment, the kidnappers then killed Alemi, leaving his body on the street, his son said. They called the family and told them where they could find it Thursday, he said.

“My father was severely tortured, there are signs of damage to his body,” Roheen Alemi said.

Alemi, a psychiatrist, worked for the government’s provincial hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif. He also owned a private clinic that is said to be the city’s first private psychiatric clinic.

Under the former US-backed government, crime increased, including frequent ransoms for ransom, prompting more businessmen to flee Afghanistan. The abductions have continued since the Taliban took power on August 15, albeit at a lower frequency.

Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosty said Taliban forces arrested eight suspected kidnappers behind the abductions of three people, including Alemi, in Balkh province, where Mazar-i-Sharif is located. He said two of the abductees were rescued but that Alemi was killed before the rescue. Police were looking for two employees of the eight arrested men, who are believed to have killed the doctor.

“The Islamic Emirate is committed to finding and punishing the perpetrators,” he said, using the Taliban name for Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban-run Ministry of Finance announced that all government employees would be paid three months’ salary, which had been unpaid since the Taliban took power. The lack of pay for government employees has been one of the reasons for an increase in poverty in Afghanistan amid a crumbling economy.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, responded to an open letter sent earlier this week by the Taliban’s Secretary of State to the US Congress. In the letter, Amir Khan Muttaqi said US sanctions against the Taliban were fueling the economic crisis and called on Congress to release billions in Afghan assets.

West said in a series of tweets that the Taliban had been warned that non-humanitarian aid to Afghanistan would be cut off if the rebels seized power militarily rather than reach a negotiated solution.

Legitimacy “must be earned” by establishing an inclusive government and respecting the rights of women and minorities, “including equal access to education and employment,” he said. West added that the United States is providing $ 474 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through UN agencies.

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