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Russian Officials Say Kidnappers Of Daghestani Minister Detained

Russian law-enforcement officials said two men suspected in abducting a top official in the troubled North Caucasus region of Daghestan have been detained.

The Investigative Committee said July 24 that the two were suspected of kidnapping the regional construction minister four days earlier.

The men, whom the committee identified as residents of the regional capital, Makhachkala, demanded a 100 million rubles ($1.7 million) ransom for the official's release.

The committee said in a statement that the minister was freed after a special police operation in the nearby region of Kabardino-Balkaria. The two men were detained in the operation.

Kidnappings are common in the North Caucasus, which continues to be beset by violence linked to a nationalist and later, Islamist insurgency, fueled by two wars in Chechnya since the early 1990s.

The region is also plagued by organized crime, political disputes, clan rivalry, and persistent poverty.