Afghan police were searching for an Australian aid worker thought to have been kidnapped in an eastern province, officials said yesterday.
Katherine Jane Wilson, a Perth native said to be aged in her 60s, was taken by gunmen who stormed the office of her aid group in the city of Jalalabad on Thursday, Nangarhar provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain said.
Australia’s government confirmed the kidnapping, local media reports said.
Wilson had reportedly worked in the region for more than 20 years with charities related to women’s rights and water security.
Her elderly father, Brian, appealed for his daughter’s return in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“I presume she’s a hostage and they’ll do their best to keep her alive and not harm her simply because they want to have something or other in return.”
According to police, no contact from kidnappers had been made so far. No group claimed immediate responsibility, but the militant Islamic State group is active in the province.
In March, two Bangladeshi aid workers were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the northern province of Kunduz.
Kidnappings, especially for ransom, are a common occurrence in the country, and frequently target employees of humanitarian organisations.
An Afghan policeman inspects passengers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Jalalabad province yesterday.