Australia investigates reported Afghan kidnapping

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SYDNEY: Australian officials said Sunday they were trying to confirm reports one of its nationals was kidnapped in Afghanistan, just months after another citizen taken at gunpoint was rescued.

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“The Australian embassy in Kabul is making urgent enquiries into reports an Australian has been kidnapped in Kabul,” a Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Due to the nature of the incident we will not be commenting further.”

Australia warns its nationals not to travel to Afghanistan, saying in its latest advisory updated in September that the “kidnapping of Westerners is a serious threat throughout Afghanistan”.

“We continue to see reports terrorists are planning to kidnap Westerners, including in Kabul and surrounding districts. Aid workers, journalists, and employees of foreign companies could be kidnap targets,” it said.

Afghan special forces rescued an Australian aid worker, Katherine Jane Wilson, believed to be aged about 60, in late August. She had been abducted by unidentified masked gunmen from Jalalabad near the border with Pakistan in late April.

Afghanistan’s capital Kabul is plagued by organized criminal gangs who stage kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreigners and wealthy locals, and sometimes handing them over to insurgent groups.

AFP

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