A female Australian aid worker was reportedly kidnapped by a group of armed military men on Thursday from her office in the eastern city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan.
The woman was purportedly working for the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees, a developmental aid organisation operating in Afghanistan since 1984. But the organisation dismissed reports of the woman being one of their staff.
“We wish to make clear that the person in question does not work for DACAAR or DRC,” 9 News quoted the agency as saying in a tweet. “No one from DRC or DACAAR has been abducted in Afghanistan.”
It is not clear who was responsible for the abduction of the Australian aid worker or where she has been taken. Also, the group has not yet put a ransom on the woman’s release, which is one of the greatest threats facing foreign aid workers in Afghanistan, the ABC reported.
“The Australian government is working to confirm the reported kidnapping of an Australian in Afghanistan,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement on Thursday.
EFE, a Spanish news agency, quoted the spokesperson of a state governor, saying that the woman was kidnapped early morning from the office of a non-profit organisation. According to Attaullah Khogyanai, the kidnappers were in military uniforms and the woman worked in the handicrafts department of the organisation.
According to other reports, the woman was staying at the Spin Ghar hotel in Jalalabad. She was reportedly working for a local Afghan aid agency at the time of the abduction. A security source revealed under conditions of anonymity that the police have detained eight persons in connection with the abduction. The source added that the woman did not ask for any protection.
Jalalabad is located close to Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State operate in the region.