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The kidnapped in Pakistan Greek teacher returns to Athens in the weekend

09 April 2010 / 15:04:36  GRReporter
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The kidnapped in Pakistan Greek teacher Tanasis Lerounis, who spent 8 months as prisoner of the Afghanistan Taliban comes back in Athens this weekend unhurt. Lerounis, who for many years was working as a volunteer in the Valley of the Kalashes in northern Pakistan, at the border with Afghanistan was released on Wednesday after long term negotiations with his kidnappers. Today at lunch time the Greek teacher was turned over to the Pakistan authorities of the Greek embassy in Islamabad and few minutes later he spoke on the phone to the Prime Minister George Papandreou. Tanasis Lerounis arrived in the Greek embassy in a military helicopter from the Tsitral region in northern Pakistan and within the next two days he will return to Athens. His personal request is not to give any official statements at his arrival at home.

The negotiations with the kidnappers of the Greek teacher lasted for over 6 months and from the Greek embassy in Islamabad they underline that they could be given as an example of how to act in delicate situations where the stake is a human life. “The victory for Greece is big and it came after 6 months of hard work. Our only argument was the international image of our Prime Minister”, says Dimitris Dolis, a personal messenger of the Greek Prime Minister for the settlement of the case. The Pakistani officer Rehmatulah Uazir, a representative of the authorities in the region of Tsitral assured that no ransom has been paid for Tanasis Lerounis, or have the rest of the requests of the kidnappers been met.

Tanasis Lerounis is a president of the charity organization “Greek volunteers” and since 2001 he works in the Valley of the Kalashes. In September 2009 he was attacked at his workplace by a squad of Talibans from the neighbor Afghanistan. The kidnappers beat up his associate who received a heart attack later on and passed away. They took Lerounis with them and crossed the border with him where they kept him hostage for 8 whole months.

 

Tags: Greek teacher kidnapped in Pakistan release Tanasis Lerounis news
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