Four Turkish engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan
Four Turkish engineers and their Afghan driver were kidnapped on Sunday in Afghanistan's eastern border province of Paktia, news reports said. Abdul Rahman Mangal, Paktia's deputy provincial governor, said the men were traveling from a building site in the Dand Wa Patan district, which borders Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, to the provincial capital Gardez when the incident happened. "Four Turkish engineers and their Afghan driver were kidnapped by unknown gunmen and have been taken away to an unknown location," Mangal said, adding that the men worked for a construction company which builds border posts. "[A] search operation has been launched to locate and rescue the abducted engineers," he added. Abduction has become a lucrative business for both militants and criminal groups in recent years in Afghanistan, where violence has reached its highest level since the overthrow of the Taliban government in 2001. In addition to around 1,800 non-combat troops supporting the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Turkish private companies have also been actively involved in reconstruction efforts in the war-torn country. Last month, Turkey assumed rotating command of the Kabul Regional Command for another year.