UPDATE – Afghanistan: 8 nabbed in Australia aid worker abduction


By Zabihullah Tamanna

KABUL (AA) – Afghan police confirmed Saturday that eight
suspects had been arrested in connection with the abduction earlier this week
of an Australian aid worker.

“Afghan security forces have arrested eight people in
the kidnapping case and an investigation is underway,” Hazrat Hussain
Mashriqiwal, a police spokesman in eastern Nangarhar province where the
reported abduction took place, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

“So far, no individual or militant group has contacted
[us] and there have been no demands,” the spokesman added.

Early Thursday morning, Kerry Wilson, a 60-year-old
Australian aid worker, was reportedly kidnapped from her office in Jalalabad —
Nangarhar’s provincial capital — by unidentified gunmen claiming to be Afghan
intelligence officers.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the Nangarhar governor,
told Anadolu Agency late Friday that the kidnappers had snuck into the office
of aid agency Zardozi and abducted Wilson.

“The woman, without keeping security officials in the
loop, visited the local office in the 4th municipality district of Jalalabad
late Wednesday,” Khogyani said.

Brian Wilson, 91, the woman’s father, told local media in
Australia that his daughter had been due to fly back to Perth, in Western Australia state, for a 10-day visit this

“There’s nothing much to be done until we hear the
kidnappers’ demands,” Wilson was quoted as saying by the Perth Now

Australian Foreign Minister
Julie Bishop said Saturday that the government was cooperating closely
with Afghan authorities and officials of other countries with representation
and resource in the region, such as the United Kingdom.

“We are working with
those who can assist us in making contact with those who may well have been
involved,” the Australian Associated Press quoted her as saying.