German woman and Afghan guard killed by gunmen in Kabul German woman and Afghan guard killed by gunmen in Kabul

Unknown gunmen killed two people, a German woman and an Afghan guard, and abducted a Finnish woman in Kabul on Saturday evening, according to officials.

On Saturday evening, the attackers entered a compound housing employees working for Operation Mercy, a Swedish charity, in a residential area off Darulaman Road in western Kabul.

An interior ministry spokesman, Najib Danish, said an investigation was under way. No group immediately claimed responsibility, and the motive for the attack was unclear. According to the Afghan interior ministry, at least two other foreigners escaped the attack.

The Finnish foreign ministry confirmed the kidnapping on Sunday to Finnish media, saying in a statement it demanded “the immediate release of the kidnapped person”.

The German foreign ministry had yet to release a statement, but western sources in Kabul confirmed the nationality of thewoman who was killed.

Upon entering the compound, the attackers killed an Afghan security guard by slitting or stabbing his throat, according to sources, then made their way into the house where they shot the German woman and took the Finnish woman with them. It was unclear why the woman was shot, and whether the killing was premeditated or the result of a struggle.

There were other people present in the compound, the Guardian understands, but perhaps in separate buildings.

that the NGO workers were friendly neighbours who had lived in the house for two or three years and all spoke Dari.

“They had rented the house, they would leave the house in the morning and return at around 4:30 in the afternoon. They would wear our traditional clothes and headscarves, they were not armed and had two guards,” Abdul Jalil, a resident, told Tolo.

Kidnappings have long been a threat in to both foreigners and Afghans. In most cases, foreigners appear to have been kidnapped by criminal networks seeking ransom rather than by ideological extremists, though it is believed that some foreigners are being held by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

Most foreigners kidnapped over the past few years have been released. However, two professors working with the American University of Afghanistan, an American and an Australian, , are still in captivity.

An American-Canadian couple, who were kidnapped in 2012, , along with their two young sons.

As a response to the kidnapping threat, many foreign NGOs have moved into fortified compounds and limited their movements around the country, even inside the capital, Kabul. The guesthouse that was attacked on Saturday seemed to have limited security and unarmed guards.

Kidnappings have also become a greater threat to Afghans. According to the BBC, at least 80 Afghan businessmen were kidnapped last year.

Also on Saturday, at least 20 local and national Afghan policemen were killed in the southern Zabul province in a clash with Taliban militants that continued into Sunday.

Source : theguardian[dot]com