News World Australian aid worker abducted in Kabul

Australian aid worker abducted in Kabul

Afghan security forces
Afghan security forces stand guard on the streets of Kabul. Photo: AP
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Heavily-armed gunmen have kidnapped a female Australian employee of an organisation that coordinates the distribution of aid in Afghanistan, local police say.

But authoroties have not revealed her identity, who is responsible for the attack or what happened to the aid worker’s driver.

General Abdul Rahman Rahimi, the Kabul city police chief, said that a Pakistani-born Australian woman was abducted on Saturday night, with reports suggesting the attackers were carrying AK47-style assault weapons.

Rahimi added that she was with her driver while she was taken away by gunmen.

“We have had lots of developments in the abduction case … but right now I can’t share it with the media,” said Rahimi.

Another police official with the Kabul police chief’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said that she was more than 40 years old and worked for the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief or ACBAR.

Afghanistan remains a heavily militarised country. Photo: AAP

ACBAR is an independent body which works closely with 153 national and international aid organisations working in Afghanistan. On its website it says it abides “by the humanitarian principles of independence, neutrality, impartiality and humanity”.

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement, that the embassy was making “urgent inquiries” into the issue.

The statement added: “We continue to advise Australians not to travel to Afghanistan because of the extremely dangerous security situation, including the serious threat of kidnapping.”

In April, another Australian female aid worker was kidnapped in eastern Nangarhar province; she was released in August after nearly four months in captivity.

Kidnapping has long been a major problem in Afghanistan, affecting Afghans more often than foreigners, with ransom often the motive.

However, there have been several abductions of foreign aid workers, including at least two Australians this year alone.

Kerry Jane Wilson, who was abducted from the office of a charity in the eastern city of Jalalabad in April, was freed in August.

Another Australian, working as a teacher at the American University in Kabul, was kidnapped with an American colleague in August.

-with agencies

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