Two foreigners, thought to be a Canadian and a US citizen, were reported missing yesterday by a provincial reconstruction team in volatile Wardak, west of Kabul, and are feared to have been kidnapped, Afghan police said.
Rumors of the abduction of a man and a woman by either insurgents or criminal gangs have circulated for several days, but US and Canadian diplomats said they were unaware of anyone reported missing.
“According to the provincial reconstruction team report they had planned to travel from Kabul to Wardak,” Wardak police spokesman Wali Mohammad told reporters.
“The missing foreigners were in contact until they reached the Kampany area on Kabul’s outskirts. After that they lost contact,” Mohammad said.
“We have information they may have been kidnapped,” he said.
The kidnapping of foreigners has become relatively common in parts of Afghanistan since US-backed Afghan forces toppled the former Taliban government in 2001.
NATO-led forces said they were aware of the kidnap reports, but the search for the missing pair was being handled by diplomats and Afghan police.
A US embassy spokesman in Kabul said late on Friday that there was no information on a missing US citizen, but diplomatic officials are often reluctant to talk about kidnappings in the hope it could smooth the way for negotiations on a possible release.
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said it was looking into the reports, but it gave no confirmation of a missing citizen either.
In May, two western female doctors working for a Swiss charity were kidnapped with two Afghan colleagues by insurgent gunmen in northeastern Afghanistan.
They were later rescued by NATO special forces soldiers.