An unknown gang has kidnapped a female Afghan member of parliament,officials said Wednesday,in the latest example of prominent women being targeted in the country.
Fariba Ahmadi Kakar and her three children were taken at gunpoint Saturday in central province of Ghazni on the main highway from Kandahar city to Kabul.
The security forces released her children (two girls,one boy) in an operation Tuesday. But she has been kept in another location,we are still searching for her, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi,deputy provincial governor of Ghazni,said.
The town elders are also involved in talks with the kidnappers to secure her release, he added,giving no further details about the identity of the kidnap gang.
Several other officials in Ghazni and Kandahar confirmed the kidnapping,and dismissed interior ministry reports that Kakar was on a trip to Turkey.
Kakars family earlier denied she had been taken hostage,with relatives saying she was in hospital.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was not aware of the kidnapping.
Hostages in Afghanistan are often taken by local criminal gangs,and can be sold on to insurgent groups who then demand ransoms or prisoner exchanges.
Women who take on public roles in Afghanistan are constantly under threat,with many conservative Muslims against women working outside the home and building independent careers.
Last month,gunmen shot dead one of the countrys most high-profile female police officers.