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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechnya Posts Reward for British Hostages

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov has offered a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the release of two British hostages kidnapped in Chechnya a year ago, Interfax reported.

The announcement was made Sunday on Chechen television by Mayerbek Vachagayev, Maskhadov's spokesman, the news agency said.

Camilla Carr, 40 and John James, 38, were abducted July 4, 1997, while working in Chechnya for a charity.

Vachagayev said the Chechen presidency had never received any message from the kidnappers.

Speaking on Maskhadov's behalf, Vachagayev appealed to the kidnappers to release the two Britons.

Maskhadov pointed out that the kidnapping was causing serious economic and political damage to Chechnya since many foreign countries had ceased all trade with Chechnya and suspended their aid programs.

The separatist republic has become a center of violent crime, including kidnappings and rampant shootings, since the end of its independence war against Russia two years ago.

In an effort to crackdown on lawlessness, the government has declared a state of emergency and Chechen police detained more than 200 people for curfew violations over the weekend, Itar-Tass said Sunday.

Four kidnappers were arrested and their hostage released Saturday night, Itar-Tass said.