August 21, 2008

Twelve Staff of Demining Commission Said Kidnapped in Afghan East

Text of report by privately-owned Afghan Ariana TV on 21 August

[Presenter] A number of unidentified armed men have kidnapped 12 Afghan employees of the NDC [presumably National Demining Commission] mine clearance organization in Paktia Province. Confirming the incident, the local officials report a number of suspects have been arrested in connection with the case. The Taleban, however, have denied being involved in the abduction.

[Correspondent] Twelve employees of the NDC mine clearance organization were kidnapped with two of their vehicles en route to work in the Milan area to the east of Gardez city.

Sher Aqa Ahmadzai, head of the UN mine clearance organization in Gardez, said that they have not heard from the staff since Wednesday [20 August]. Security officials in Paktia say they do not have adequate information about the details of the incident.

However, these officials say that the employees travelled to the area without informing the security forces. In addition, the officials report to have launched a search operation and that a number of suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Zabihollah Mojahed, a Taleban spokesman, has denied any involvement in the abduction. On the other hand, locals assume the armed robbers are behind the incident. They argue that the armed robbers kidnapped a number of other employees working for the same organization some time ago.

Originally published by Ariana TV, Kabul, in Dari 1530 21 Aug 08.

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