Foreign hostages in Afghanistan


Foreign hostages in Afghanistan
Table of contents

Key: (killed-freed-unknown)

Kidnapping and hostage taking has become a common occurrence in Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Kidnappers include Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters and common criminal elements.

The following is a list of known foreign hostages in Afghanistan.

Bangladesh

8 Released

  • Noor Islam, an aid worker for the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, was kidnapped on September 15, 2007, in Lowgar Province. On December 8, 2007, he was freed by the abductors.[1]
  • Eight employees of the Samwhan Corporation were kidnapped by the Taliban near Mazar-i-Sharif on Dec. 17, 2010. Two were released on Dec. 19. The other five -- Imam Uddin, Mahbub Ali, Aminul Islam, "Lablu" and Mojibur Rahman -- were released on August 2, 2011[2][3]

Burma

1 Released

  • A Red Cross worker was kidnapped by Taliban along with two Afghans and a Macedonian citizen in Wardak Province on September 26, 2007, while working to secure the release of the German hostage Rudolf Blechschmidt. They were freed on September 29, 2007.[4]

Canada

1 Released

  • Mellissa Fung, a CBC journalist, was kidnapped by armed men from a refugee camp outside of Kabul on October 12, 2008. Her translator and driver were not taken. Fung was released on November 8, 2008.

The People's Republic of China

1 Released

  • Eng. Sink, a worker for a Chinese road building firm was kidnapped along with his Afghan driver, Lala Gan, by unknown militants on June 29, 2008, while driving towards his company's camp in Wardak Province. Gan was freed two days later. The Chinese hostage was freed on July 27, 2008.[5][6][7]

Denmark

1 Released

  • Nagieb Kahja, a Danish-Afghan journalist, was kidnapped in Kunar Province by Taliban on July 25, 2007. One the same day Nagieb Kahja was freed after few hours in captivity.[8]

France

8 Released

  • Eric Damfreville and Céline Cordelier, workers for Terre d'Enfance, were kidnapped with three Afghan aid workers on April 3, 2007 in Nimruz Province. Cordelier was released on April 28, 2007, Damfreville was released on May 11, 2007 and the three aid workers were released on May 21, 2007.[9][10]
  • Johan Freckhaus, a businessman, was abducted in the Gailan District of Ghazni Province on May 29, 2008. He was released safely along with two Afghan colleagues on June 19, 2008.[11]
  • Two employees of the French aid organisation Action Contre La Faim (ACF) were taken hostage by gunmen on July 18, 2008. They were freed on August 1, 2008.
  • Dany Egreteau, an education specialist who worked for the non-governmental organisation Solidarité Laïque, was kidnapped by the Taliban in Kabul on November 3, 2008. Another Frenchman managed to escape. An Afghan man who tried to stop the abduction was shot dead. Egreteau was released on December 3, 2008.
  • Stephane Taponier and Herve Ghesquiere, journalists for France 3, were taken hostage along with their translator, editorial fixer and driver by the Taliban in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009. They were the longest held foreign hostages in Afghanistan[12] when they were freed along with their translator on June 29, 2011. Their driver and editorial fixer were freed weeks earlier.[13][14]

Germany

4 Released

  • Norbert W., an engineer of a U.S. construction company, was kidnapped along with his Afghan translator by criminals on June 28, 2007, in Farah Province. After a $40,000 ransom was paid, they were released one week later, on July 5, 2007.
  • Christina Meier, an aid worker for ora international, was kidnapped in Kabul on August 18, 2007, and appeared on a video the next day calling for the release of prisoners. Christina was freed on August 19, 2007 after Norwegian special forces helped Afghan National Police in storming the kidnappers' hiding place in Kabul.[15]
  • Rudolf Blechschmidt, an engineer, was kidnapped by the group of Taliban warlord Mullah Nissam Udin on July 18, 2007, along with his colleague Ruediger Diedrich and six Afghans in Wardak Province. One of the Afghans was eventually allowed to "escape" after his family paid a ransom. Diedrich was later killed. Blechschmidt was released on September 26, 2007, but was recaptured shortly thereafter. Rudolf and the other five Afghans were finally released on October 10, 2007, after Germany had paid a $600,000 ransom and the Afghan government had released five Taliban prisoners.[16]
  • Hadschi Asisullah, a German-Afghan businessman, was kidnapped in Kabul on July 25, 2008. He was freed by Afghan intelligence agents in Parwan Province on August 7, 2008. Three abductors were arrested.[17]

2 Killed

  • Ruediger Diedrich, an engineer, was kidnapped by the group of Taliban warlord Mullah Nissam Udin on July 18, 2007, along with his colleague Rudolf Blechschmidt in Wardak Province. Diedrich was found dead of gunshot wounds on July 21, 2007.[18]
  • Harald Kleber, who worked for Gruenhelme, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Herat Province on December 16, 2007. On March 14, 2008, it was reported that the abductors demanded $50,000 dollars ransom for his release. The abductors had initially demanded $100,000 dollars for his release but decreased the amount. Kleber was killed sometime after that because the ransom they demanded was not paid.[19][20]

India

3 Released

  • Pemmasani Murali and Gonem Varadaiah, construction workers for B. Seenaiah & Company, were kidnapped by gunmen on December 6, 2003. They were released on December 24, 2003.
  • Sarang Mohammad Naeem, working for a Dubai-based company, was kidnapped along with his Nepali colleague and their Afghan driver on April 21, 2008, in Herat Province. The driver was later released. Naeem and his colleague were freed on May 18, 2008.[21]

2 Killed

  • Maniappan Raman Kutty, an engineer working for Border Road Organisation, was kidnapped with his Afghan driver and two Afghan bodyguards on November 19, 2005. The driver and two bodyguards were later released but Maniappan was found nearly decapitated on November 23, 2005.[22][23]
  • Kasula Suryanarayana, a telecommunications worker for Al-Moayed, was kidnapped along with his driver on April 28, 2006. The driver was later released but Kasula was found beheaded on April 30, 2006.[24][25]

Iraq

1 Released

  • Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, on assignment for The Guardian, was kidnapped on December 10, 2009 along with two Afghan journalists. All three were released on December 16.

Iran

12 released

  • Twelve engineers were abducted along with three Afghans in Farah Province near the border with Iran. They were released three days later[26][27]

Italy

3 Released

  • Clementina Cantoni, a worker for CARE International, was kidnapped in Kabul on May 16, 2005, apparently by a criminal gang. Her driver was not taken. Cantoni was released on June 9, 2005.
  • Gabriele Torsello, a freelance journalist, was kidnapped in Helmand Province on October 12, 2006. His translator was not taken. Torsello was released on November 3, 2006.
  • Daniele Mastrogiacomo, a journalist, was kidnapped on March 5, 2007, along with his translator, Ajmal Naqshbandi, and driver, Sayed Agha. Naqshbandi and Agha were later beheaded. Mastrogiacomo was released on March 19, 2007 in exchange for five Taliban commanders.

Japan

3 Killed

  • Jun Fukusho and Shinobu Hasegawa, two teachers who wanted to go sightseeing in Afghanistan, went missing after entering the country on August 8, 2005. They were found dead on September 1, 2005.[28]
  • Kazuya Ito, 31, and his Afghan driver-translator were abducted on August 26, 2008, as he was on his way to inspect an irrigation project in the area. The driver-translator was later released. Ito's body was found on August 27, 2008. .

1 Released

  • Kosuke Tsuneoka, journalist, was kidnapped in the northern city of Kunduz between March 31 and April 2, 2010. His captors demanded a ransom.[29][30] He was released September 5, 2010.[31]

Republic of Macedonia

4 Killed

  • Fadil Zenuni, Lulzam Fidani, Besim Aliu and Sabid Tahiri, employees of Ecolog, were kidnapped along with four Afghans on March 11, 2006. The four Afghans were later released but the four Macedonians were found dead on March 20, 2006.[32]

1 Released

  • A Red Cross worker was kidnapped by Taliban along with two Afghans and a Burmese citizen in Wardak Province on September 26, 2007, while working to secure the release of the German hostage Rudolf Blechschmidt. They were freed on September 29, 2007.[4]

Nepal

1 Released

  • Karna Bahudur Gurung, working for a Dubai-based company, was along with his Indian colleague and their driver on April 21, 2008, in Herat Province. The driver was later freed. Gurung and his colleague were freed on May 18, 2008.[21]

Netherlands

2 Released

  • Joanie de Rijke, a journalist, was kidnapped by the Taliban on November 1, 2008. She was released on November 7, 2008.
  • Peter Oosterhuis was kidnapped along with his driver in the Khan Abad district on October 25, 2010. They were released on December 2, 2010.[33][34][35]

Norway

1 Released

  • Journalist Paal Refsdal and his interpreter were abducted on November 5, 2009 near the Pakistani border. Both were freed on the night of November 11, 2009.[36]

Pakistan

1 Released

  • Tariq Azizuddin, Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped by the Taliban along with his driver, Gul Nawaz, and bodyguard, Amir Sultan, on February 11, 2008, in the border area between the two countries, en route to the Afghan capital, Kabul. They were freed in a prisoner exchange on May 15, 2008.[37]

Philippines

1 Released

  • Angelito Nayan, a diplomat working for the U.N., was kidnapped with two other workers on October 30, 2004. He was freed on November 23, 2004.

Serbia (Kosovo)

1 Released

  • Shqipe Habibi, an U.N. worker from Kosovo, was kidnapped on October 30, 2004, with two other workers. Habibi was freed on November 23, 2004.

South Korea

2 Killed and 23 Released

  • 23 Christian aid workers, 16 women and seven men, were kidnapped by Taliban on on July 19, 2007. Two male hostages were killed. The other captives were freed on August 30, 2007. See 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan.
  • Two construction workers, along with their local driver and two bodyguards, were kidnapped in Samangan province on Dec. 13, 2010. They were later freed by local police.[38]

Turkey

7 Released

  • Hassan Onal, an engineer working on a highway, was kidnapped along with his driver by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan on October 30, 2003. The driver was freed a day later. Hassan was released on November 30, 2003.
  • Gokhan Gul and Erhan Gunduz, two engineers working at a construction project, were kidnapped along with their driver by a group of gunmen in Herat Province on July 14, 2008. They were released on July 20, 2008.[39]
  • Four engineers were kidnapped along with their driver in Paktia province on Dec. 26, 2010. The driver was released a few days later. The engineers were released on September 04, 2011.[40][41][42]

United Kingdom

1 Rescued

  • Stephen Farrell, reporter for The New York Times, was kidnapped along with his Afghan interpreter, Sultan Manadi, by the Taliban while visiting the site of a deadly NATO airstrike in northern Afghanistan on September 5, 2009. His driver managed to escape. Farrell was the second NY Times reporter to be kidnapped by the Taliban. Farrell was rescued by British commandos on September 9, 2009. Manadi was killed during the rescue effort.[43][44][45][46]

2 Killed

  • David John Addison, a security contractor, was kidnapped by the Taliban in western Afghanistan on August 31, 2005. His body was found on September 3, 2005.[47][48]
  • Linda Norgrove, an aid worker for the aid group Development Alternatives Inc was kidnapped along with three Afghan colleagues by the Taliban on Sept. 26, 2010 in Kunar Province. The three Afghans were released on October 3, 2010. Norgrove was killed by friendly fire during a rescue attempt on October 8, 2010.[49][50][51]

2 Released

  • Sean Langan, a journalist for Channel 4, was kidnapped along with his translator by the Taliban on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on March 22, 2008. They were released on June 21, 2008.[52]
  • Annetta Flanigan, a U.N. worker, was kidnapped with two other U.N. workers on October 30, 2004, by Taliban militants. She was freed with the others on November 23, 2004.

United States

1 Killed

  • Cydney Mizell, an aid worker, was kidnapped along with her Afghan driver Muhammad Hadi on January 26, 2008, in a residential neighborhood of Kandahar. On February 26, 2008, it was reported that the two were killed. The organization they worked for says the two are believed to be dead.[53]

1 Rescued

  • An American, working for the Army Corps of Engineers, was abducted in mid-August by the Taliban. He was rescued on October 22, 2008, by U.S. special forces soldiers conducting a nighttime operation.

1 Escaped

  • David Stephenson Rohde, reporter for The New York Times, was kidnapped by the Taliban outside Kabul on November 10, 2008 along with his translator, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah Mangal. He and Ludin managed to escape on June 19, 2009 after seven months in captivity by climbing over the wall of the compound where they were being held in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. Mangal was left behind but he managed to escape on July 27, 2009.[54][55]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSDHA212991._CH_.2400
  2. ^ Afghans free 2 Bangladeshis
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/?jp=MHMHAUAUKFID&rss=rss2
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/86623.html
  9. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6847132,00.html
  10. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052700387.html
  11. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080620/wl_sthasia_afp/afghanistanfranceunrestkidnap_080620105717
  12. ^ http://www.france24.com/en/20100412-taliban-threaten-kill-french-journalist-hostages
  13. ^ http://www.cpj.org/2011/06/france-3-television-crew-released-after-547-days.php
  14. ^ http://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2011/06/29/herve-ghesquieres-et-stephane-taponier-ont-ete-liberes_1542625_3216.html
  15. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20349378/
  16. ^ http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i6CrL1KbYYtxPooX01kcG9SQidnA
  17. ^ http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3543945,00.html
  18. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,497891,00.html
  19. ^ [5]
  20. ^ [6]
  21. ^ a b http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/kidnapped-indian-released-in-afghanistan-family-happy-roundup_10050116.html
  22. ^ http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/nov/23mani.htm
  23. ^ http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200511/24/eng20051124_223532.html
  24. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060501/main1.htm
  25. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1528145.cms
  26. ^ Ten Iranian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan
  27. ^ [7]
  28. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2005/09/03/1452579.htm
  29. ^ http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/japanese-journalist-being-held-by-taliban-in-afghanistan
  30. ^ http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/TOE63105H.htm
  31. ^ http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80277,8336859,Dziennikarz_porwany_w_Afganistanie_odzyskal_wolnosc.html
  32. ^ http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002873119_afghan18.html
  33. ^ Dutch aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan
  34. ^ [8]
  35. ^ [9]
  36. ^ Norway: Kidnapped journalist freed in Afghanistan
  37. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/05/17/pakistan-ambassador.html
  38. ^ Two Koreans rescued after being kidnapped in Afghanistan
  39. ^ http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-933433/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5wcmVzc3R2LmlyL2RldGFpbC5hc3B4P2lkPTY0NDE0JmFtcDtzZWN0aW9uaWQ9MzUxMDIwNDAz
  40. ^ http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Afghan-Taliban-Frees-4-Turks-129209678.html
  41. ^ "Four Turkish engineers kidnapped in E Afghanistan". xinhuanet.com
  42. ^ http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/03/02/9-held-turkish-engineers-kidnapping-case
  43. ^ http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/2009/09/nyt_reporter_kidnapped_in_kund.php
  44. ^ http://www.pajhwok.com/viewstory.asp?lng=eng&id=81042
  45. ^ http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=105379&sectionid=351020403
  46. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/world/asia/09rescue.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=Stephen%20Farrell&st=cse&scp=3
  47. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/tm_headline=taliban-killed-welsh-man-as-us-forces-tried-rescue&method=full&objectid=19488491&siteid=50082-name_page.html
  48. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-469845/Briton-killed-Taliban-working-pay-wifes-IVF.html
  49. ^ British aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan
  50. ^ [10]
  51. ^ [11]
  52. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1028991/British-Channel-4-journalist-freed-month-kidnap-ordeal-Afghanistan.html
  53. ^ http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/328795.aspx
  54. ^ Times Reporter Escapes Taliban After 7 Months page 1. June 20, 2009 New York, NY: THE NEW YORK TIMES
  55. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/asia/22epilogue.html

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