Afghan official says foreign national abducted in the north

AP News
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Posted: Dec 20, 2016 10:29 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A foreign national was abducted by gunmen in northern Kunduz province in an attack on a Red Cross convoy, an Afghan official said Tuesday.

Spain's Foreign Ministry confirmed that the abductee is a Spanish citizen.

Mahmood Danish, spokesman for the provincial governor, said Tuesday that armed men stopped a convoy of vehicles from the International Committee of the Red Cross on Monday and snatched the only foreigner, leaving the Afghans behind.

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the abduction. ICRC's spokesman in Kabul, Ahmad Ramin Ayaz, confirmed the abduction without providing further details.

Ayaz says the ICRC staffers were traveling in two vehicles from northern Balkh province toward Kunduz province when the attack happened.

The Spanish statement quoted Monica Zanarelli, who heads the Red Cross delegation in Afghanistan, as saying the organization was in contact with different authorities in a bid to have their staffer freed.

"We're extremely concerned for the safety of our colleague. We're doing our best to discover what precisely happened, and to secure his safe and unconditional release as quickly as possible," Zanarelli said.