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Hundreds of residents of western Herat province Saturday turned out to protest the kidnapping and murder of the son of a local businessman.

The protestors demanded the government deliver harsh punishment to those already arrested over the case, saying "we will not have the burial until the government has convicted them [kidnappers]."

The demonstration began around 9:00am in Herat city near the governor's compound, and the protesters have said that they will continue until the government reacts.

The father of the boy said the kidnappers had initially asked him to pay US$400,000 for his son's release. This was negotiated down to US$90,000, which was paid, but the boy was killed and buried by the kidnappers - probably in order to protect their identities, the father told TOLOnews Thursday.

Gen. Abdul Hamid Hamidi, acting police commander of Herat province, on Thursday said that the boy was kidnapped near his house 35 days ago. The police detained six men and two women as key persons in the kidnapping, with one person still missing.

Cases of kidnappings in Herat have dropped in the last two months compared to six months ago, however the recent incident has reignited concerns for the ruthless criminal behaviour.

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