Ransom bid for volunteer

The kidnappers of Athanasios Lerounis, a Greek volunteer teacher abducted from his home in northwestern Pakistan earlier this month, have demanded a ransom of 2 million dollars and the release of three Afghan Taliban leaders in return for his freedom, an English-language newspaper in Pakistan reported yesterday. A spokesman for a delegation that traveled to Afghanistan for talks with Taliban representatives detaining Lerounis said that the volunteer was «safe and sound,» according to the Dawn newspaper. The paper also published extracts from a letter written by Lerounis on September 19. «I am living with a group of Taliban. They are very hospitable and do their best for my well-being and security,» one extract reads. Lerounis has been working as a volunteer teacher for a humanitarian organization in Pakistan since 1995.