German and Afghan guard killed in Kabul guest house attack
May 21 2017 01:51 PM
An Afghan boy rides his bicycle in front of a house, where a German aid worker and an Afghan guard were killed, in Kabul on Sunday.


A German aid worker and an Afghan guard were killed as gunmen stormed an international guest house in central Kabul, officials said on Sunday, as insecurity rises in the war-torn country.
A Finnish woman is missing and presumed to be kidnapped in the attack late on Saturday on the guest house run by a Swedish charity called Operation Mercy.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the incident, the latest in a series of assaults on aid workers in Afghanistan.
"A Finnish lady was kidnapped from police district (three) last night at 11.30. A German lady and an Afghan guard were killed," interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said on Twitter.
A Finnish foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that a Finnish citizen has been kidnapped in Kabul.
"We can confirm that we know about this but we are not giving details at the moment. The only thing we can say is it is not known who the kidnappers are," said spokeswoman Karoliina Romanoff.
Operation Mercy's director Scott Breslin told local news agency TT that he was holding a crisis meeting over the incident.
"We know that she's missing, we will send out a press release later," Breslin said in a brief statement. 
Operation Mercy is known to work with local Afghan communities in areas such as reducing infant mortality and women's empowerment.
The attack underscores growing insecurity in Afghanistan, which is in the grip of an insurgency waged by the Taliban and other groups.
The kidnapping of foreigners has been on the rise, but the threat of abductions is even greater among Afghans.
Kabul is plagued by organised criminal gangs who stage abductions for ransom, often targeting foreigners and wealthy locals, and sometimes handing them over to insurgent groups.
In August last year gunmen wearing military uniforms kidnapped two professors of the American University of Afghanistan in the heart of Kabul.
The two, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weekes, appeared in a Taliban hostage video that surfaced in January, the first apparent proof that they were alive.
Aid workers in particular have increasingly been casualties of a surge in violence in recent years.
Judith D'Souza, a 40-year-old Indian employee of the Aga Khan Foundation, a prominent NGO that has long worked in Afghanistan, was rescued last July nearly a month after she was abducted near her residence in central Kabul.
D'Souza's abduction came after Katherine Jane Wilson, a well-known Australian NGO worker, was kidnapped in April last year in the city of Jalalabad, close to the border with Pakistan. Wilson was released in March this year.

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