Prominent doctor kidnapped and killed in northern Afghan town of Mazar-i-Sharif, family say
KABUL, Afghanistan – A prominent doctor has been kidnapped and killed in northern Afghanistan, his family said on Friday.
Mohamed Nader Alemi was kidnapped two months ago in the town of Mazar-i-Sharif, and his captors demanded a ransom for his release, his son Roheen Alemi said. The family eventually paid them $ 350,000, after negotiating more than double their original claim, 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 to find him on Thursday, he said.
“My father was severely tortured, there are signs of injuries on his body,” Roheen Alemi said.
Alemi, a psychiatrist, worked for the provincial government hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif. He also had a private clinic, which would be the city’s first private psychiatric clinic.
Under the previous US-backed government, crime increased, including frequent kidnappings for ransom, prompting several businessmen to flee Afghanistan. Kidnappings have continued since the Taliban took power on August 15, but with less frequency.
Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosty said Taliban forces arrested eight suspected kidnappers who were behind the kidnappings of three people, including Alemi, in Balkh province, where he finds Mazar-i-Sharif. He said two of those abducted were rescued but Alemi was killed before the rescue. Police were looking for two associates of the eight men arrested who allegedly killed the doctor.
“The Islamic Emirate is committed to finding and punishing the perpetrators,” he said, using the Taliban’s name for Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Taliban-led finance ministry announced that all government employees will receive a three-month salary, which has not been paid since the Taliban takeover. Lack of pay for civil servants has been one of the factors fueling increased poverty in Afghanistan amid a collapsing economy.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West responded to an open letter sent earlier this week by the Taliban Foreign Secretary to the U.S. Congress. In the letter, Amir Khan Muttaqi said US sanctions against the Taliban were fueling the economic crisis and urged Congress to release billions of Afghan assets.
West said in a series of tweets that the Taliban had been warned that non-humanitarian aid to Afghanistan would be halted if the insurgents seized power militarily rather than reaching a negotiated settlement.
Legitimacy “must be earned” by establishing 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 United Nations agencies.