NEW: The woman was seized as she traveled by car with her driver, Afghan police said
Two Australian citizens were abducted in Afghanistan earlier this year
An Australian woman has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, Afghan police said Sunday.
The woman was seized in Kabul’s Qala e Fatullah area area on Saturday evening as she was traveling by car with her driver, said Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul’s police chief.
Police are investigating the abduction, said Mujahid.
He said the woman, who is an Australian citizen of Pakistani origin, works for the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR,) which describes itself as an Afghan independent body bringing together more than 150 national and international NGOs operating in the country.
The Australian Embassy in Kabul is making urgent inquiries into the reported kidnapping, a spokeswoman for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.
“Due to the nature of the incident we will not be commenting further,” the statement said. “We continue to advise Australians not to travel to Afghanistan because of the extremely dangerous security situation, including the serious threat of kidnapping.”
Both Afghans and foreigners face the risk of abduction in Afghanistan, with two previous cases this year also involving Australians.
An Australian aid worker was abducted from her home in Jalalabad in Afghanistan in April, but was freed in August. Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security said Kerry Jane Wilson was released after it conducted a special operation.
An American and an Australian were also kidnapped from American University in Kabul in August. A rescue attempt by US Special Operations Forces from SEAL Team 6 failed when they were not found at the location targeted.
In June, nearly 200 people were kidnapped by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Kunduz, police said. The majority were released but the fighters killed several people and kept around 20 hostage.
CNN’s Ehsan Popalzai reported from Kabul and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Tomas Etzler contributed to this report.