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British aid worker abducted two days ago

By Jibran Khan

The woman disappeared along with three Afghan colleagues in the Kunar mountain region. NATO Special Forces are sweeping the area with the assistance of local tribal leaders. Many are hoping for a quick outcome but fear prisoners might be taken to Pakistan. A possible prisoner swap for a Muslim terrorist might be in cards.

9/29/2010 Afghanistan (Asia News) – A Christian female British aid worker was abducted in northeastern Afghanistan along with three Afghan co-workers, this according to the British Foreign Office. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the kidnappers want to swap the abducted air worker for a terrorist.

“We are working closely with all the relevant local authorities,” a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said, without going into details.

The woman, 36, from Scotland, has worked in Afghanistan for several years, and was employed by Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). She and her three Afghan colleagues were taken prisoners as they travelled in two vehicles in northeastern Kunar province. 
Sources told AsiaNews that the four were taken into nearby mountains. Afghan forces with the assistance of tribal leaders and NATO troops are sweeping the area searching for them.

British sources said that police engaged the kidnappers in a brief gunfight, but the latter were able to slip away. The region is mountainous and covered in thick forests hampering the rescue efforts.

“Locals are working hard to secure the prisoners’ release,” a source said. “They are trying to get people with influence to do something.”

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the abduction but officials in Kunar suspect a local commander known as Maulavi Abdul Basir is behind it.

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