Kidnapped Greek a ‘guest’ of Taliban

Greek national Athanasius, carrying a Kalashnikov, pictured with a member of a delegation from Kalash valley in Afghanistan

A Greek national, Athanasius Lerounis, who was kidnapped by Taliban from the Kalash valley of Bumburate in October last year, is said be in good health and has grown a beard, giving him a Taliban look.
A member of a delegation which had visited Nooristan to seek Athanasius’s release from the Afghan Taliban told Dawn that the Greek national was in high spirits and his captors were treating him as a ‘respected’ guest.
He said the delegation was allowed to have a number of meetings with Athanasius, even in seclusion. He was also allowed to pose for a group photo with the delegation, brandishing a Kalashnikov in his hand.
“During our long stay in Nooristan, we were served meals by Taliban in the presence of Athanasius.”
The delegation members observed that the abducted Greek had cultivated intimacy with his captors.
Led by a former union council nazim of Ayun, Abdul Majeed Qureshi, the delegation consisted of Wazirzada Kalash, Musa Khan and Qari Khairatullah.
(Foto: Dawn)


  1. This so called “captive” is carrying an American GI issued M4 carbine assault rifle – not a Kalishnokov. The rifle was likely captured by local Taliban/insurgents in Nuristan during contact with American forces in the area.


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