Police in the Afghan capital Kabul have been carrying out vehicle searches after gunmen captured a French aid worker. A driver for the Afghan security services, who tried to intervene, was shot dead by the abductors.
Kidnappings by criminal gangs have risen dramatically in Afghanistan in recent months because of the lucrative sums that are paid to free the hostages. “Kidnappings and killings have increased. Last year, during the whole year, 17 NGO workers were killed. While in nine months, 28 have been killed. In three consecutive weeks, three incidents happened, kidnappings and killings,” said an NGO representative.
The kidnappings are part of growing violence in Afghanistan which has reached record levels this year, as the Taliban step up their campaign to overthrow the Western-backed government.