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German abducted: four Afghanistan arrests    2007-12-19 13:54:34    

Four men have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of involvement in the kidnap of a German convert to Islam, a German newspaper was set to report Thursday.
Osnabrueck, Germany (dpa) - Four men have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of involvement in the kidnap of a German convert to Islam, a German newspaper was set to report Thursday.

Harald Kleber, who changed his name to Abdul Rahman after becoming a Muslim, was abducted by armed men on Sunday in western Afghanistan. There have been no demands from his abductors, according to Afghan police.

Earlier reports had speculated he might have been seized by tribesmen angered that he had married a local woman who had been promised to an Afghan man.

Four male relatives of that man have been arrested near the city of Herat, the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung reported, quoting Afghan Trade and Industry Minister Amin Farhang.

Farhang said the family may have seized Kleber to avenge sullied honour or to extort money from Kleber's family, adding, "We assume the Taliban has nothing to do with this."

Kleber, a 42-year-old carpenter from the Bavarian town of Amberg, was the fifth German kidnapped in Afghanistan this year.

German engineer Rudolf Blechschmidt was released on October 10 after nearly three months in the hands of Afghan kidnappers.

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