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Kidnapers Free No. 2 British Envoy in Iran

May 29, 1987|United Press International

LONDON — Britain's No. 2 diplomat in Iran was released in Tehran today, 24 hours after he was abducted by gunmen from a "shadowy revolutionary committee," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

The spokesman said Edward Chaplin, 36, was "severely beaten" during his abduction and "we have no word yet on his medical condition.

"From what we understand he is back in his home (in Tehran) with his wife," the spokesman said.

Chaplin was kidnaped while police in Manchester, England, held an Iranian diplomat on charges of shoplifting and assaulting a police officer. But Britain said it could not determine if the two incidents were linked.

'No Justification'

"There can be no justification to link the two cases," the spokesman said. "If they did make any connection, it would be totally unjustified."

The Iranian diplomat, political attache Ali Qassemi, 29, was released on bail four hours after Chaplin was kidnaped.

No group claimed responsibility for Chaplin's abduction Thursday, a day when most businesses were closed in Iran for Muslim celebrations marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

"It would seem he was arrested on suspicion of an unspecified nature by something which calls itself the Central Komiteh," the Foreign Office spokesman said.

"They seem to be a shadowy organization"--part of the Revolutionary Guards, a quasi-official militia charged with policing the revolutionary ideals in Iran under the rule of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, he said.

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