A German aid worker and an Afghan guard were killed and a Finnish woman kidnapped as gunmen stormed an international guest house in Kabul, officials said Sunday, underscoring rising insecurity in the war-torn country.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack late Saturday on the guest house run by Swedish charity Operation Mercy in the heart of the Afghan capital.
In further violence roiling the country, 20 Afghan policemen were killed early Sunday when Taliban fighters stormed their outposts in the southern province of Zabul, as the insurgents escalate their annual spring offensive.
The interior ministry confirmed the brazen Kabul attack, the latest in a series of assaults on aid workers in Afghanistan.
“A Finnish lady was kidnapped… last night at 11.30. A German lady and an Afghan guard were killed,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said on Twitter.
The kidnapping of foreigners has been on the rise, but the threat of abductions is even greater for Afghans.
Kabul is plagued by criminal gangs who stage abductions for ransom, often targeting foreigners and wealthy locals, and sometimes handing them over to insurgent groups.
The violence spotlights the worsening security in Afghanistan, which is in the grip of an insurgency waged by the Taliban and other groups.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the coordinated attack in Zabul’s Shah Joy district, another stinging blow to NATO-backed Afghan forces.