Canadian journalist, a 32-year old Ken Hechtman is kept in the Spin Boldak township, seven kilometres away from the Pakistani border. The On-Line agency reported, with reference to Hechtman's colleagues who phoned to Montreal Mirror from Afghanistan, that the journalist is kept tied in one of the township's houses. The Taliban request ransom for him. The Canadian embassy to Islamabad refused to give any information to RIA Novosti. Earlier reports appeared that the Taliban surrendered Spin Boldak without fighting to the armed volunteer corps of the Pushtuns. According to other reports the township is still in the hands of the Taliban. It is possible, the local observers believe, that the Canadian journalist is now being kept as a hostage not so much because of money as for being used as an argument during the further negotiations with the Pushtuns or Americans. Meanwhile, the landing of the US paratroopers continues, say reports coming from Afghanistan. The US marines use the take-off and landing strip in Dolanghi settlement, 90 km to the south-west from Kandahar, as a base. The main aim of paratroopers is to hold the bridge-head till the landing of new large detachments of the coalition forces and control the ways of movement of separate Taliban groups or their leaders who may try to flee from Kandahar.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia