Gunmen abduct aid worker in Kabul

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The Independent Online

Kabul Gunmen have kidnapped a French aid worker and killed an intelligence agency employee who tried to stop the abduction. Three men in a Corolla tried to kidnap two French citizens riding in a van but after a scuffle they fled with only one, police said.

The Interior Ministry said the dead man was the driver for the intelligence chief of Panjshir province. Etienne Gille, the president of Afrane, a French aid group that focuses on education, said the abduction took place as one of its workers and a man from another French aid group were being driven from a residence that Afrane rented to the group's offices. "The car was blocked by another car that was driving the wrong way." The Afrane worker had escaped but the other aid worker had been taken.

"There was an Afghan on the street who intervened," M. Gille said.

A witness, Mohammad Shafi, said the man who intervened had lived opposite the scene of the incident.

"He grabbed the machine gun of one of the kidnappers, who opened fire, burning his hand. After that, the kidnapper shot him three times in the chest," Mr Shafi said.

M. Gille would not name the kidnapped man or the organisation he worked for but said he was in his thirties and had been in Afghanistan about a week. M. Gille believed it was the man's first time in the country. His family had been informed. A Taliban spokesman said Taliban militants were not involved.

The number of abductions and shootings of foreigners in Kabul has risen in recent weeks.