Iran Strives to Free Abducted Nationals

A04129571.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran has stepped up efforts to secure the release of two Iranian nationals kidnapped in the western Afghan city of Herat.

“Our consulate and embassy in Afghanistan are using all diplomatic and local channels to free our nationals who were abducted by armed men 10 days ago,” an informed source at Iran’s consulate in Herat told the state-run tv.

The source said the two were kidnapped while traveling from Herat to Islam Qala on the Iranian border. One of the Iranians was a businessman and the other worked for a construction company.

Members from Herat’s police have met with tribal elders in the area in an attempt to identify the culprits.

Iran has paid nearly $500 million to finance the construction of schools and health centers in Afghanistan’s western regions.

Among the major projects was the 2005 launch of a 122-kilometer-long highway, linking the city of Herat in southwestern Afghanistan to the northeastern Iranian region of Dogharoun.

With 300 bridges, the cost of constructing the highway has been estimated at $68 million.

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