Gunmen Kidnap German Woman in Kabul

Armed assailants abducted a German woman from a restaurant in western Kabul, officials said Saturday, while a suicide car bomber targeting a security forces convoy in southern Afghanistan killed 15 people.

Gunmen Kidnap German Woman in Kabul
In the Kabul kidnapping, armed men pulled up next to a barbecue and fast food restaurant, and one of the men went inside and ordered a pizza, said an intelligence official investigating the incident.

The man then pulled out a pistol, walked up to a table where the woman was sitting with her boyfriend, and took her from the restaurant, the official said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy. The boyfriend was not kidnapped.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemerai Bashary said the woman, who was not identified, was kidnapped by men armed with pistols around 1 p.m., but he did not have any further details.

The German Embassy in Kabul said that they were checking reports, but could not confirm the incident.

U.N. staff in Kabul, meanwhile, were told Saturday afternoon to remain in their locations as authorities investigated the abduction, a U.N. official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on security matters. Other foreigners were also placed under tight security.

In southern Afghanistan, a suicide car bomber detonated near a convoy of private security forces, killing four Afghan guards and 11 civilians, including women and children, police said.

The suicide car bombing went off west of Kandahar city and also wounded six other guards as well as 20 civilians who were in two minivans passing by the convoy, Kandahar provincial police chief Syed Agha Saqib said.

Three women and two children died in the blast, and five women and three children were among the civilians wounded. Women's and children's shoes were scattered about the area. A stuffed animal toy was left in one of the destroyed minivans.

Saqib said the guards worked for U.S. Protection and Investigations security firm. Company representatives could not immediately be reached to confirm that their employees were attacked.

In neighboring Helmand province, insurgents holed up in buildings and trenches attacked Afghan police and coalition forces Friday near Fire Base Robinson, the coalition said in a statement. Nearly a dozen suspected  were killed in the ensuing battle.

It was the third insurgent attack on the joint forces in as many days, the statement said. No Afghan or coalition forces were wounded in the three days of fighting.

Since early spring, Afghan and international forces have been battling insurgents in Helmand—scene of some of the heaviest fighting over the last two years and the largest opium poppy-growing region in the world.

Violence in Afghanistan has risen sharply during the last two months. More than 3,700 people have died so far this year, most of them fighters, according to an Associated Press tally of casualty figures provided by Western and Afghan officials.

Last Mod: 18 Ağustos 2007, 15:27
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