More Alarming Episodes in Afghanistan: Dutch Aid Worker Abducted, UN Office Attacked

A view of Kunduz, Afghanistan. A Dutch aid worker and his Afghan driver were abducted in the Afghan province of Takhar and taken to the neighboring Kunduz province. Photo by: Afghanistan Matters / CC BY Afghanistan MattersCC BY

A Dutch aid worker and his Afghan driver have been abducted by gunmen in northern Afghanistan, Dutch and Afghan officials said Monday (Oct. 25).

The two men were snatched out of their car in Takhar province and taken to the Khan Abad district of neighboring Kunduz, Takhar province police chief Shah Jahan Noori told Reuters.

The Dutch aid worker heads a non-governmental organization assisting disabled people in Takhar, Noori added.

Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman Christoph Prommersberger has confirmed the incident but did not identify the men and the aid group they were working for.

“Our embassy in Kabul is in contact with the Afghan authorities about the case and will give any support to the Afghan authorities to secure his release,” Prommersberger told Reuters in Amsterdam.

Monday’s incident follows a series of kidnappings involving aid workers in Afghanistan.

British aid worker Linda Norgrove was killed early this month after a failed attempt to rescue her from her Afghan captors. Ten members of a medical team affiliated with an international charity were killed in August in the country’s northeastern region.

>> Afghan Leaders Close to Negotiating Norgrove’s Release, Probe Finds

>> A Grim Day in Afghanistan, 10 Aid Workers Found Dead

Meanwhile, four Taliban suicide bombers attacked the main United Nations compound in Afghanistan on Oct. 23. No U.N. staffer was killed in the attack.

Afghan security forces and U.N. security guards repelled the attackers, who were dressed as women and police. Two bombers blew themselves up at the entrance, while another detonated a bomb just inside the compound. A fourth attacker was shot and killed, officials said, according to Reuters.

“This was a complex attack with rockets, machine guns plus suicide bombers. The attack was repelled, they did not succeed,” U.N. envoy to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura told Reuters. “No U.N. staff were wounded.”

The U.N. will continue its work in Herat, The Associated Press cited a U.N. statement as saying.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack,  Taliban commander Mullah Bilal told Reuters.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.