Recent reports indicate there is a credible kidnapping threat in eastern Jalalabad City, located in Nangarhar province. Anti-government elements (AGE) or criminals are allegedly planning to target foreign nationals.
Kidnappings of expatriates have increased over the last two years in Afghanistan. AGE and criminal groups have been encouraged by the payment of ransoms and the exchange of Taliban prisoners for American Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in 2014. Kidnappers routinely take advantage of security vulnerabilities such as routine movement, lack of security, and use of unarmored vehicles.
On a related note, the kidnapping of international personnel in the capital Kabul has gained headlines over the past month following several high profile cases. A video was released on June 21, 2017, of two American and Australian professors working at American University of Afghanistan who had been kidnapped from the Darulaman area of the capital in August 2016.
Individuals present in Afghanistan are advised to remain extremely vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior. As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the country due to a high threat from kidnapping, terrorism, and frequent and widespread lethal attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, domestic and international political and civilian targets, and individuals working in the humanitarian and reconstruction fields. Travel to the country should only be undertaken with proper security protocols in place.
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