Hunt for kidnapped UK aid worker

2010-09-27 16:07
Jalalabad - Security forces were hunting on Monday for a British woman and three Afghans reportedly working for a US development group who were kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan, police said.

The woman is reportedly in her 30s, has worked in Afghanistan for several years and is considered very experienced. She is believed to have previously worked for the United Nations.

British media said the woman was working for US aid group DAI, a subcontractor of Washington's USAid, and was seized along with three local staff when their two-vehicle convoy was attacked in Kunar province.

Kunar borders Pakistan and is a hotbed of Taliban activity.

The British government confirmed that she was a British citizen, and said her family had been notified and had asked that she not be publicly identified.

The BBC quoted a "senior security official" saying the group had been taken to nearby mountains on foot, and the area was being searched with the help of tribal elders.

Gun fire exchanged


Kunar provincial police chief Khalilullah Ziayee said a search operation had been launched.

"They were on their way from (eastern town) Jalalabad to Kunar province in two Corolla cars," he said.

"We have received reports that the cars were stopped by Taliban... and one British and three Afghans were taken away. We are searching for them."

The US military, which has a heavy presence in the mountainous and heavily forested region, was also said to be involved in the search.

British newspaper reports said police had chased the kidnappers and exchanged gunfire before they escaped.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office in London said, "We can confirm a British national has been abducted in Afghanistan."

Taliban claims responsibility

They did not give further details but added, "We are working closely with all the relevant local authorities. We are also in touch with the family and are providing consular assistance."

DAI spokesperson Steven O'Connor told the Daily Mail newspaper that resolving the incident was their "absolute first priority".

"The woman who appears to have been kidnapped is one of our veterans. She is a complete professional and has many years of experience."

A small Afghan news agency, which often carries Taliban statements and claims, said a local Taliban commander had claimed responsibility.

"It is not clear if this is legitimate," a British official said, speaking on condition that he not be named, adding the report was among a number of possibilities under investigation.

A spokesperson for the Taliban denied in an interview that the insurgents were responsible for the abductions.

"We are not aware of the British woman kidnapping," spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahed said during a telephonic from an unknown location.

Isaf offers assistance


Criminal groups and insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in Kabul. Victims are often sold on to insurgent groups.

The Taliban have initially denied responsibility for kidnappings in the past, apparently to give operatives time to reach secure locations.

Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), which has about 150 000 troops in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban, said it was willing to provide assistance to recover the missing people.

"If we are asked to provide support, we'll certainly do so," an Isaf spokesperson.

DAI has been targeted in the past by the Taliban, most recently in July when four people were killed in an attack on its premises in northern Kunduz province.

In August a 36-year-old British doctor, Karen Woo, was shot dead along with seven other foreign medical aid workers in the northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan. Two Afghans were also killed in the attack.

- SAPA
Read more on:    isaf  |  afghanistan  |  abductions
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.