21 October 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  •    - Afghanistan
  •    - Bangladesh
  •    - Bhutan
  •    - India
  •    - Nepal
  •    - Pakistan
  •    - Sri Lanka
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 09/29/2010, 00.00

    AFGHANISTAN

    British aid worker abducted two days ago

    Jibran Khan

    The woman disappeared along with three Afghan colleagues in the Kunar mountain region. NATO Special Forces are sweeping the area with the assistance of local tribal leaders. Many are hoping for a quick outcome but fear prisoners might be taken to Pakistan. A possible prisoner swap for a Muslim terrorist might be in cards.

    Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Christian female British aid worker was abducted in northeastern Afghanistan along with three Afghan co-workers, this according to the British Foreign Office. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the kidnappers want to swap the abducted air worker for a terrorist.

    “We are working closely with all the relevant local authorities,” a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said, without going into details.

    The woman, 36, from Scotland, has worked in Afghanistan for several years, and was employed by Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). She and her three Afghan colleagues were taken prisoners as they travelled in two vehicles in northeastern Kunar province.

    Sources told AsiaNews that the four were taken into nearby mountains. Afghan forces with the assistance of tribal leaders and NATO troops are sweeping the area searching for them.

    British sources said that police engaged the kidnappers in a brief gunfight, but the latter were able to slip away. The region is mountainous and covered in thick forests hampering the rescue efforts.

    “Locals are working hard to secure the prisoners’ release,” a source said. “They are trying to get people with influence to do something.”

    No one has yet claimed responsibility for the abduction but officials in Kunar suspect a local commander known as Maulavi Abdul Basir is behind it.

    DAI spokesperson Steven O'Connor dismissed suggestions the missing four got lost. “The woman who appears to have been kidnapped is one of our veterans. She is a complete professional and has many years of experience.”

    Police remains optimistic about getting the hostages released or freed within 24 hours. Major Maqsoud Padshah, police chief in the district where the abduction took place, said NATO moved in right away, “worried that if they waited to send in a delegation of tribal elders to talk, then maybe they would take her to Pakistan.” Instead, “they have sent Special Forces here and an operation has begun.”

    Kunar’s border with Pakistan's tribal areas is virtually un-policed and is criss-crossed by trails and supply routes used by numerous insurgent factions and smugglers. Other areas in Pakistan are deemed rebel strongholds, and are hard to get at.

    An Afghan press agency with close ties to the Taliban said Taliban are demanding in exchange Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist with alleged links to al-Qaeda. Last week, she was sentenced in New York to 86 years for the attempted murder of US soldiers and US agents who had been interrogating her in Afghanistan.

    Siddiqui's imprisonment caused fury in Pakistan, with people protesting on the streets and burning effigies of US President Barack Obama.

    The British embassy in Kabul has refused to discuss the press agency report.

    DAI’s O'Connor said, "At the moment, we cannot entirely rule out the claims of the Afghan Press agency”. He added however to wait the outcome of the operation by NATO Special Forces.

    The kidnapping comes as the parents of British doctor Karen Woo, who was murdered in Afghanistan last month, spoke for the first time about their loss.

    Lynn and Tehaun Woo said their daughter, who had been working with an international charity, knew the risks being in Afghanistan, but was compelled to help people.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    01/10/2010 AFGHANISTAN
    Taliban behind abduction of British aid worker
    A Taliban leader claims responsibility for kidnapping aid worker in an interview with a Peshawar-based news agency. However, other members of his Taliban group deny it is involved.

    30/01/2008 AFGHANISTAN
    More than 500 Afghan women demonstrate against female abduction
    The protest was held yesterday in Kandahar. The demonstrators, many of them wearing burqas, are asking for the liberation of Cyd Mizell, an aid worker who was kidnapped on Saturday with her driver. No one has yet come forward to claim responsibility for the kidnapping.

    18/06/2008 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan, no government response to Taliban offensive
    While the NATO attack rages in southern Afghanistan, president Musharraf and the interior ministry meet to study a defensive strategy and combat the apparent powerlessness of the government. In the meantime, the Taliban are threatening women who study, and closing non-Islamic shops.

    17/01/2008 PAKISTAN
    Waziristan, Taliban abandon fort taken overnight
    After setting off explosives against the walls of the military base, in the northern part of the country, the Islamic militants withdrew again to the Afghan border.

    16/09/2004 PAKISTAN
    United Nations tasks Faisalabad Caritas with repatriating Afghan refugees living in local diocese




    Editor's choices

    MYANMAR
    Rohingya not only group persecuted in Myanmar, Christian minorities are as well



    Ethnic Kachin, Chin and Naga endure suffering. Religious discrimination is in some cases even institutionalised. Christians are seen as the expression of a foreign religion, outside of the nationalist view. For years the military regime has applied stringent discriminatory measures.


    VATICAN - ASIA
    The world is in urgent need of the Church's mission

    Bernardo Cervellera

    October is a month devoted to awakening the call to mission among Christians. In the world there is indifference or enmity towards God and the Church. Religions are considered the source of all wars. Christianity is the encounter with a Person who changes the life of the believer and places him at the service of the wounds of the world, torn by frustrations and fratricidal wars. The example of the Patriarch of Baghdad and of the President of South Korea.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®