Case of kidnapped Balkh child ‘very complex’

KABUL (Tolo News): The family of Abdul Rauf, a nine-year-old child who was abducted in the northern province of Balkh more than five months ago, said that the case of their child has now become more complex, and they accused the Afghan government of not providing updates on the progress on his recovery.

Abdul Rauf’s father Mohammad Nabi showed TOLOnews photos of two alleged kidnappers who were captured and questioned by the Taliban because of their suspected connection to the kidnapping. The suspects are named Sayed Karim and Shah Wali. According to Mohammad Nabi, the suspects told the Taliban that the child is being kept in areas under the control of the government.

“They (kidnappers) moved him to a government controlled-area (Abdul Rauf) from the area under the control of the Taliban, because they had been traced there; however, at the moment, we do not know where they have transferred him,” said Mohammad Nabi, the father of the child. Mohammad Nabi says he has communicated with the Taliban five times seeking help to free his child.

Mohammad Nabi also said that four suspects currently being held by the Taliban have admitted that Abdul Rauf was kept in Dawlat Abad district of Balkh for several days. “It’s shameful for the government to not be able to find a 9-year-old child for more than five months,” said Zohra, mother of Abdul Rauf.

The kidnappers previously asked for $1.2 million as a ransom in exchange for the release of the child. The kidnappers also sent several audio and video clips to the family during this period. “Abdul Rauf’s case has become very complex, the central organs have done a lot of work—clues were indicated in Faryab, this process is now bigger than just a Balkh (authorities) matter,” said Mohammad Farhad Azimi, the governor of Balkh. The family also said that the kidnappers have tortured the child.