Australian aid worker ‘kidnapped’

A street scene from Jalalabad in 2014, prior to Afghanistan's general electionImage copyright

Image caption

Jalalabad is a city of 350,000 people in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border

An Australian aid worker has been abducted in the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan’s east.

Media reports identified the woman as 60-year-old Katherine Jane Wilson, also known as Kerry.

Ms Wilson is the director of the NGO Zardozi, which helps poor women start their own businesses .

Armed men in military-style uniforms took her from Zardozi’s Jalalabad office, reports said.

It is not known who is responsible or whether a ransom has been sought for her release.

Ms Wilson’s father Brian Wilson told the Australian Broadcasting Corp he was extremely worried about his daughter, who had been working in the region for 20 years.

“I presume she’s a hostage, and that they’ll do their best to keep her alive and not harm her, simply because they want to have something or other in return and it’s not very good having a dead hostage,” Mr Wilson said.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the government was working with Afghan authorities to locate Ms Wilson, but would not confirm any further details.

Jalalabad is close to the border with Pakistan, in a region where militant groups are known to operate.

In 2015 two German aid workers in Afghanistan with the development organisation GIZ were kidnapped in separate incidents. Both were eventually freed.

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