Afghan police are searching for an American aid worker and her driver kidnapped yesterday in Kandahar. Police have tightened security in the southern city, AFP reports, blocking traffic and questioning Afghans in the area where Cyd Mizell was seized. Nobody has claimed responsibility; a Taliban spokesman refused to say whether the militant group was involved.
Mizell works for a small Philippines-based charity devoted to economic development and teaches English and embroidery. She has lived in the Kandahar area for three years despite its reputation as a dangerous locus of Taliban activity. In recent months the Taliban has targeted aid workers in an effort to destabilize Afghanistan, and many foreign workers have been killed and kidnapped, but Mizell is the first American taken hostage.