Aid worker seized in Kabul

GUNMEN kidnapped a French aid worker in Kabul yesterday and killed an intelligence agency employee who tried to intervene.

Three assailants tried to kidnap two French citizens riding in a small van but after a scuffle they got away with only one, Mohammad Daud Amin, a police commander in the area, said.

“A resident tried to prevent this kidnapping.

A kidnapper opened fire and killed him. They were able to kidnap one Frenchman,” Amin said.

The dead man was identified as the driver for the intelligence chief of Panjshir province.

Etienne Gille, president of Afrane, a French aid group, said one of its staff and a man from a second French group were being driven from home to its offices.

“The car was blocked by another car driving the wrong way,” from which “an armed man emerged,” Gille said. Afrane’s employee escaped, while the other aid worker was taken.

A witness, Mohammad Shafi, said the man who intervened lived across from where the kidnapping occurred. “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.”

Gille declined to name the organisation for which the kidnapped man worked but said he was in his 30s. He had been in Afghanistan about a week. A Taliban spokesman said its militants were not involved.

Kabul’s international community has experienced a rise in abductions and shootings in recent weeks.

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