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ICC Note:

Security forces in Afghanistan have arrested a suspect in connection with the abduction of a Jesuit priest in Afghanistan’s Herat province. The arrest took place yesterday, June 4. The priest was abducted on Monday, June 2. Since the abduction, no group has taken responsibility nor has any group demanded a ransom. Many believe the priest was abducted because he was a foreigner, not because he was a priest. Please pray for his safe return home. 

6/5/2014 Afghanistan (Asia News) – Afghan security forces have arrested a suspect in connection with the kidnapping of Indian Jesuit Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, who heads the national section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The arrest took place yesterday evening in the western province of Herat, where the kidnapping also took place. Fr. Jeyapaty SJ, rector of the Loyola College and instructed to speak to the media, told Asia News that “there is still no official confirmation of the arrest”.

Samiullah Qatra, head of provincial security, said that the suspect was taken into custody for further investigation.

Afghan police and intelligence forces have launched an operation to free the 47-year old priest, who was kidnapped last June 2 in the district of Zendjan. Fr Alexis was visiting a school for refugees. He had recently returned from a trip to Iran and Pakistan. In Afghanistan since 2008, much of his work consists of assisting Afghans who have returned from these two countries through health and education programs, particularly in Bamiyan, Kabul and Herat.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Zendjan believe that the kidnappers might have taken Fr. Alexis to the district of Gulran. Taliban militants are active in the area, but no one has asked for a ransom, nor claimed responsibility for the abduction.

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