Dutch aid worker kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Kabul released after 81 days

A Dutch aid worker who was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Kabul in June has been released after 81 days of captivity, according to the Dutch foreign ministry.

Anja de Beer, the statement issued by the ministry on Thursday said, was recovering at the Dutch embassy in Kabul and “doing pretty well, considering the circumstances”.

Ms. Beer, who has been associated with many international aid agencies over the past two decades, had been working in Kabul for the Swiss development organization Helvetas.

She had previously worked with the Red Cross between 2000 and 2001 on projects to help widows and orphans in Afghanistan, the Dutch press agency ANP said.

She was abducted by unknown gunmen from a street in Kabul on June 22 and spent 81 days in their captivity.

The Dutch foreign ministry said she managed to speak with her family as well as with the Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders.

The statement did not mention how she was released and if any ransom was provided to the kidnappers.

The identity of kidnappers is also not known.

The incidents of kidnappings in Kabul have increased in recent months, mostly targeting foreign nationals.

Last month, a female expatriate staff member of an international organization was abducted by unknown gunmen from Qala e Fatullah area of Kabul.

The incident took place two days after the U.S embassy in Kabul warned that the insurgents “may be planning attacks against several targets frequented by foreigners, including Hamid Karzai International Airport, vehicle repair and fueling facilities, and a barber shop along the Bagram road”. 

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