Five suspected kidnappers killed in Bolivia

June 30th, 2008 - 4:56 am ICT by IANS  

La Paz, June 30 (IANS) Five suspects in the kidnapping of a Colombian businessman were killed in a shootout with the police in eastern Bolivia Sunday, EFE news agency reported quoting officials. The shootout took place on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, when the police tried to arrest a group of men who allegedly abducted a Colombian businessman and held him for 24 hours, prosecutor Joadel Bravo said Sunday.

The kidnappers had earlier asked the family of the Colombian businessman for $50,000 in ransom, but they released him after learning that the businessman, who has lived in Bolivia for two years, can not meet their demand, Bravo said.

A special police unit which was in search of the kidnappers unexpectedly found a vehicle belonging to the group. The officers chased the vehicle and engaged in a gun battle with the kidnappers, killing five of them, the prosecutor said.

Four of the dead have been identified, Bravo said adding that the fifth man had not yet been identified.

Five people were also arrested in connection with the kidnapping, but three of them were later released, the prosecutor said.

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