Australian woman abducted by unknown gunmen in Kabul

Qala-i-Fatullah neighbourhood in Kabul has seen several abductions in the pastMohammad Ismail/Reuters

An Australian woman, who is thought to be an aid worker, has been kidnapped in the Afghan capital Kabul by unidentified gunmen. Australian authorities say they are looking into the matter.

Confirming the kidnapping, Australia's foreign ministry said the woman was abducted late on Saturday (5 November) but did not reveal more information.

"The Australian Embassy in Kabul is making urgent enquiries into reports an Australian has been kidnapped in Kabul. Due to the nature of the incident, we will not be commenting further," said the ministry.

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Local reports suggest the victim, who is reportedly working for an NGO, was kidnapped in the Kabul neighbourhood of Qala-i-Fatullah, where several aid workers have been taken hostage in the past. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction as yet.

A local source told Afghanistan's news outlet Khaama Press that she was working for the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development. Several foreigners have been taken hostage previously for ransom and this has been a major problem plaguing the war-torn country. Two Australians have been kidnapped by Afghan militants in 2016 alone and one of them was released in August.

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