Five gunmen wearing Afghan military uniforms have abducted an American and an Australian in Kabul, a security official said Monday. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the abduction, reports the AP. The two foreigners were taken from their SUV while driving on Sunday night on a main road near the American University of Afghanistan, according to Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry. They are believed to be employees of the university and were traveling between the university and their residence in the Afghan capital; both are men, he said.
The US Embassy in Kabul issued a brief statement confirming the kidnapping of an American citizen, but gave no further details "due to privacy concerns." Sediqqi said that kidnappers in all the Kabul cases—three other foreigners who were kidnapped in Kabul over the past year have all been released—had been wearing military uniforms, establishing a pattern and hinting at some form of organized gang activity. Most of the thousands of foreigners living and working in Kabul are largely confined to their embassies or residential compounds, with limited movement permitted. The abductions heighten the risk for the few foreigners, including journalists, who move with relative freedom across the Afghan capital in order to do their work.