Australian aid worker reportedly kidnapped by armed men in Afghanistan

The Australian government is trying to confirm reports an Australian female aid worker has been kidnapped by armed men in .

The woman was reportedly abducted on Thursday in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade late on Thursday said in a statement that “the Australian Government is working to confirm the reported kidnapping of an Australian in Afghanistan”.

The woman was as 60-year-old Katherine Jane Wilson, also known as Kerry, from Perth.

Her father Brian Wilson, 91, told the ABC he was “extremely worried” for his daughter.

“But I presume she’s a hostage, and that they’ll do their best to keep her alive and not harm her, simply because they want to have something or other in return and it’s not very good having a dead hostage.”

Wilson said his daughter had been working in the region for more than 20 years with charities related to women’s rights and water security, and knew the risks.

“It’s always dangerous. There’s always peril in the background,” he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

It took place early morning from the office of the non-profit organisation in Jalalabad, capital of the Nangarhar province, Attaullah Khogyanai, spokesperson of the state’s governor said.

The kidnappers wore military uniforms and the employee “worked in the non-profit’s handicrafts department,” he said.

A security source, requesting anonymity, said police have detained eight suspects, adding the kidnapped woman had not requested protection.

In February, five Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross were abducted by unidentified armed assailants in south-eastern Afghanistan but freed four days later.

Kidnappings, especially for ransom, are a common occurrence in the country, and frequently target employees of humanitarian organisations.

Source : theguardian[dot]com
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