Afghan commission set up to search for kidnapped U.S. aid worker

By RIA Novosti

Kabul : Afghanistan has set up a special commission to search for a U.S. woman kidnapped in the southern city of Kandahar in Afghanistan last Saturday, an interior ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

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The commission comprising officers from the country’s defense, law enforcement and security agencies will assist in the hunt for U.S. national, Cyd Mizell, 49, who was abducted by armed gunmen together with her Afghan driver.

Taliban militants have denied their involvement in the kidnapping, and no group has either claimed responsibility or made any demands.

The Pajhwok Afghan News agency earlier said the woman worked for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation (ARLDF) based in the Philippines.

The Aljazeera news agency said that around 500 Afghan women took to the streets of Kandahar Tuesday in protest at the abduction calling on religious leaders to condemn the kidnapping.

It is the first reported abduction of a U.S. citizen in Afghanistan in recent years in a country where kidnapping of westerners is relatively rare.

Last year two Koreans and one German engineer died in kidnappings in the violence-prone country, after 23 Korean aid workers, two Germans and two Italians were kidnapped in separate incidents.

Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime was overthrown in the 2001 U.S.-led campaign, has seen a rise in violence in the last few years.