Foreigners kidnapped in Haiti

A Russian and an Indian have been kidnapped in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, UN officials say.

    Peacekeepers are struggling to restore order in the country

    The two were kidnapped during the weekend and sources say the kidnappers have asked for $200,000 in exchange for the Russian's release. Little is known so far about the Indian citizen.

    "The Russian is a UN contractor who works with a civil aviation company, but not a member of the UN peacekeeping mission," a spokesman for the UN mission in Haiti, Damian Onses-Cardona, said.

    They are the first two known cases in which foreigners have been targeted by kidnappers since abductions and criminal violence surged dramatically after a 19 February jailbreak of 500 prisoners.

    Kidnap victims in Haiti are mostly businessmen and professionals. One political leader was held last week and was released after his entourage paid a ransom.

    Political and gang violence has killed 678 people, including 20 policemen, since September 2004.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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