Still no leads in case of kidnapped US aid worker, driver

There are still no clues in the case of an American aid worker kidnapped Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Cyd Mizell (seen at right), a 49-year-old English teacher at Kandahar University, had worked for an NGO, the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation. The woman’s driver, Abdul Hadi, was also taken.

This follows a string of abductions of foreigners and Afghans alike in the past few years, possibly spurred on by some governments’ policies of paying ransoms to secure their citizens’ release.

The southern region of Afghanistan has “become increasingly dangerous,” according to an ABC News story, “as the Taliban insurgency has spread throughout southern Afghanistan.”

The article continues: “Western civilians who operate there often travel with armed guards and extreme caution. The area is rife with Taliban militants and criminals linked to the country’s booming opium poppy trade.”

The Afghan authorities suspect the work is either of the Taliban or an armed criminal gang, though they still have not heard any demands from the kidnappers.

More coverage here and here.