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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Journalists' Kidnappers Ask for $3M

Kidnappers holding four journalists and a technician in the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya, are demanding $3 million in ransoms, a mediator said on Russian television Monday.

The kidnappers want $1 million to free Italian journalist Mauro Galligani, who was seized Feb. 23 in the Chechen capital Grozny, mediator Mogamed Talboyev told RTR Russian television.

In addition, they are demanding $2 million for the release of Itar-Tass journalist Nikolai Zagnoiko, and two Radio Russia journalists and a sound engineer -- Yury Arkhipov, Nikolai Momulashvili and Lev Zeltser -- who were seized March 4.

Talboyev, who said he would hold further talks Tuesday, said the journalists and technician were "alive and in good health."

Talboyev, who is secretary of the security council in Dagestan, which adjoins Chechnya, said he was holding the negotiations under the authority of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov.