Security Forces Free Kidnapped Boys in Balkh
 
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Two boys kidnapped in separate incidents in northern Balkh province have been released and their captors detained after successful operations conducted by special forces, Balkh police said.

The two boys – one 12-years-old and one in grade 12 in high school – were both kidnapped in different incidents and freed in a space of 24 hours, Balkh Police Commander Gen. Abdulrazaq Qaderi said Wednesday.

"Two incidents took place in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif over the last 24 hours, both kidnappings. Five have been arrested in association with the incidents," Qaseri told TOLOnews.

Ramez, the high school student, was allegedly kidnapped by classmates who first drugged him.

He told TOLOnews he went with a classmate to the Shrine of Hazrat Ali after preparing for a university entrance exam. The classmate, who Ramez said is from the Khogian district of eastern Nangarhar province, drugged him and kidnapped with the help of two other people.

"There were two glasses of banana milkshake - one had an anesthetic in it which he gave to me and he drank from the other glass. I fell unconscious a few moments after that and he kidnapped me," Ramez said.

The father of the 12-year-old expressed his gratitude for the return of his son.

"I am so happy that my son is released after a few days. I thank the security forces," said Waissuddin.

The reasons for the kidnappings were not clear.

Both parties called for the kidnappers to be punished according to the law.

Article 420 of the Afghanistan Penal Code says a person kidnapping an under-18 individually or along with someone else will be sentenced to not more than seven years prison.

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