Gunmen on motorbikes kidnap workers in Afghanistan

AP News
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 10:39 AM
Gunmen on motorbikes kidnap workers in Afghanistan

Gunmen on motorcycles kidnapped six road engineers and their driver as they were traveling to a work site in northern Afghanistan, a public works official said Friday.

Three Afghan and three Pakistani construction workers and their Afghan driver were carjacked around 5:30 p.m. Thursday and led away at gunpoint, Abdul Qadir Mahmoud Zada said. They were targeted by at least 15 men on motorcycles in the province of Sar-e-Pul.

Mohan Marouf, an engineer for the construction firm Aman Afghan, said the abducted men were employees on a United Nations-funded road building contract. United Nations officials said they had no knowledge of the attack.

No one has claimed responsibility for the abductions, Afghan police officials said.

Kidnappings _ mostly of Afghans _ for ransom or for political reasons are common in Afghanistan, where violence has made efforts to rebuild the country costly and dangerous.

In January, two Chinese engineers and four Afghans were kidnapped while traveling back to their base after working on a road construction project in Faryab province in the north.