Japanese student kidnapped in Iran released after 10 months

June 15th, 2008 - 3:16 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, June 15 (DPA) Japanese student Satoshi Nakamura, who was kidnapped 10 months ago in eastern Iran, has been released, Iranian officials said Saturday. Fars news agency quoted Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Iran’s intelligence service chief, as confirming the release of the 23-year-old who was abducted in Bam in Kerman province by drug traffickers and armed bandits.

The official added that bandits had forced to return the student from Pakistan to Iran but gave no further details.

Nakamura is believed to be in the border city of Zahedan, from where he is to be transferred to the capital Tehran and delivered to the Japanese embassy before leaving to Japan.

Nakamura’s captors had demanded the release of one of their senior gang members from jail in return for the student.

Mohseni-Ejei said Iran did not give in to the bandits’ demand and had forced them to release the Nakamura without preconditions.

Nakamura was allowed telephone contact with his family in Japan while he was being held, reportedly in the Bahramchah region, located close to both the Afghan and Pakistani borders and said to be a stronghold of drug-trafficker gangs and Al Qaeda militants.

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