In Afghanistan, Kidnapped Aid Workers Released Unharmed

U.S. soldiers patrol a village in Faryab province in Afghanistan. Four local employees of the French aid group ACTED who were abducted in the area on Oct. 10 have been released on Oct. 11. Photo by: The U.S. Army / CC BY

Four local employees of an international aid organization who were abducted in the Afghan province of Faryab were released unharmed on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the country director of the aid group has announced.

The four Afghan men, who are employed by the French aid group ACTED, were taken at gunpoint Monday, Oct. 10, while returning to their office from a training site. They were held by a local militant commander for a day before their release was negotiated by a group of Afghan elders, the Washington Post reports, citing ACTED’s Afghanistan country director, Ziggy Garewal.

Garewal said the kidnappers initially demanded ransom but eventually agreed with the Afghan elders to release the four men without payment. But the kidnappers kept the aid workers’ cars, Garewal noted. He added that the affiliation of the kidnappers is still unclear even as Afghan officials said the kidnappers are likely Taliban fighters.

Garewal further noted that ACTED’s work in the province could be limited due to the incident.

“If they’re going to keep threatening to abduct staff . . . the situation is untenable,” she said, as quoted by the Washington Post.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.