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Afghan aid group appeals for captive's return

  • Story Highlights
  • American aid worker, driver kidnapped Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan
  • Cyd Mizell working there "out of the good of her heart," group's director says
  • Asian Rural Life Development Foundation works in about 12 countries
  • Mizell was trying to improve Afghan women's earning power, group says
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(CNN) -- An Afghan aid group is appealing for the safe return of one of its employees, an American worker who was kidnapped from Kandahar province Saturday morning.


Cyd Mizell was snatched from a residential area of Kandahar while on her way to work.

Three days have passed since gunmen snatched Cyd Mizell and her Afghan driver from a residential neighborhood in the southern Afghanistan province.

By Tuesday, no one had claimed responsibility for the abductions.

"We just want those who have done this to know that she is a loved daughter and a wonderful person who basically is there helping to rebuild a country devastated by war," said Jeff Palmer, director of the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation. "And she's doing this out of the good of her heart."

While a spate of kidnappings have gripped Afghanistan recently, including the abduction of 23 South Korean Christian aid workers and a German woman last year, it was the first such abduction for the foundation. Video Watch what Afghan police are doing to find Mizell »

The organization, whose offices are in Thailand and the Philippines, runs several projects in the Kandahar area. It also has a presence in about 12 other Asian countries.

Palmer told CNN Monday that Mizell's family was "doing as well as possible" given the circumstances.

"Of course, they are waiting to hear something," he said.

Palmer said there has been "no word whatsoever. That's the most frustrating part right now."

Mizell, 49, was born in California and grew up in Washington. She joined the foundation three years ago, and in that time, learned to speak the local language fluently.

She traveled around Kandahar in a burqa -- the traditional attire of some Afghan women that covers them from head to toe.

At the time of her abduction, Mizell had been working on projects that help women and families learn to generate income. She also taught English at a high school and embroidery lessons at a girls school, the organization said.

"She went to Afghanistan just as a real concern for the people and the turmoil within the country, and just as far as trying to reach out to women," said Tony Rodgers of Acworth, Georgia, who has known Mizell for almost two decades.

The driver who was kidnapped, Muhammad Hadi, has been with the organization for two years. He is the father of five children, all under 15. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Saeed Ahmed contributed to this report.

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