27 Sep 2010

British aid worker, local staff abducted in Afghanistan

11:14 am on 27 September 2010

A British aid worker and three local staff have been kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan, local security officials have said.

They were in a two-car convoy in Kunar province when the vehicles were stopped by armed men.

The British woman was employed by US aid group DAI and is thought to have worked for the UN before that.

No-one has said they carried out the abduction.

A senior security official told the BBC the group was taken away into nearby mountains on foot and that they are searching the area with tribal elders.

The US military who have a strong presence in the area is also thought to be involved in the search.

Various armed groups operate in the area and the location of the abduction was not thought to be under government control.

Afghans and foreigners can be targeted by gangs seeking ransom money, but they are sometimes sold on to militant groups, a BBC correspondent in Kabul said.