Taliban fighters kidnapped four Red Cross workers southwest of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, yesterday, Reuters reports. A Taliban spokesman says the group has "nothing against the Red Cross," was unaware at the time that the kidnapped were Red Cross staff, and that the four would be released soon. The Red Cross says the event will not affect operations in Afghanistan.
Kidnappings have become common in Afghanistan in recent months as the Taliban attempts to undermine the West-sponsored government with a climate of fear. At the time of yesterday's incident, the four Red Cross employees—one from Myanmar, one from Macedonia and two native Afghans—were returning from a failed mission to win the release of a German engineer kidnapped in July.