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KGB Reportedly Gave Arab Terrorists a Taste of Brutality to Free Diplomats

January 07, 1986|From the Guardian

JERUSALEM — The KGB has adopted novel, brutal and apparently effective methods of dealing with terrorists who attack Soviet interests in the Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.

The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.

The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnaped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The militiamen, the Jerusalem paper said, did not cease their attacks, and the body of one of the Soviet diplomats, Arkady Katkov, was found a few days later in a field in Beirut.

The KGB then apparently kidnaped and killed a relative of an unnamed leader of the Shias' Hezbollah (Party of God) group, a radical, pro-Iranian group that has been suspected of various terrorist activities against Western targets in Lebanon.

Parts of the man's body, the paper said, were then sent to the Hezbollah leader with a warning that he would lose other relatives in a similar fashion if the three remaining Soviet diplomats were not immediately released. They were quickly freed.

The newspaper quoted "observers in Jerusalem" as saying: "This is the way the Soviets operate. They do things--they don't talk. And this is the language Hezbollah understands."

Six Americans, missing for up to two years, are presumed to be kidnaping victims in Lebanon.

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