Afghan militants kidnap two charity workers and their guides
Thursday 24 May 2012
Two foreign medical workers and their three Afghan translators have been abducted in a remote part of north-east Afghanistan.
The women and their interpreters were travelling on horseback between the districts of Yaftal and Ragh in Badakhshan province when they were snatched by gunmen on Tuesday evening. The nationalities of the women were not disclosed.
The team, thought to have been with the Swiss aid organisation Medair, were on a trip to help women and children in rural areas. Abdul Maroof Rasek, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the group was taken to a town in Ragh, adding: "So far, the kidnappers have not been in touch with officials or police, and there has been no ransom demand."
He said district elders had been asked to ask for help find the kidnap victims and negotiate their release.
In August 2010, 10 aid workers including a British doctor, Karen Woo, were killed in an ambush in Badakhshan as they returned from a trip to provide eyecare to villagers in neighbouring Nuristan province. A month later, Oxfam temporarily suspended operations in the province after two of its workers and a volunteer died in a roadside bomb attack blamed on the Taliban.
Badakhshan is considered a relatively safe area of Aghanistan, despite Taliban units having moved into the province in recent years. Criminal gangs involved in drugs and weapons trafficking are known to be active there.
Meanwhile, 125 girls and three teachers were taken to hospital yesterday following a suspected poison attack on a school in neighbouring Takhar province. Most had been treated and discharged last night but 30, along with three women teachers, were still in hospital.
Police in Takhar said conservative radicals opposed to the education of girls had used an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms.
The attack was the second such incident in as many months. In April, 150 schoolgirls in the same Afghan province were poisoned after they drank contaminated water.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Space debris orbiting Earth to be destroyed with giant lasers fired from Australia
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete repeatedly vomits as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's autopsy
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 2 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 3 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 4 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
- 5 Sharknado 2: Former WWE wrestler Kurt Angle to fight second wave of flying sharks
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...