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Aid workers kidnapped in Afghanistan

Four aid workers with the Swiss-based humanitarian group Medair – two foreign female doctors and two male Afghan colleagues – have been kidnapped in a remote part of north-eastern Afghanistan.

The Medair workers were reportedly visiting a clinic and bringing food to women and children in a mountainous area of Badakhshan province on Tuesday when they were kidnapped.

Abdul Mahroof Rasikh, spokesman of the provincial governor in Badakhshan, said the workers were traveling back by donkey along a flood-ravaged road when armed men kidnapped them in the Yaftal zone in the north of the province and took them to Shar and Buzurg districts.

The reasons for the kidnappings are not known but Rasikh believed it to be criminally and not politically motivated. He said the victims had not informed Afghan security forces about their trip to the area.

Based in Ecublens in canton Vaud, Medair is an emergency relief agency which has been active in Afghanistan since 1996. There it employs 15 expatriate and 175 local staff.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR