KABUL (AFP) - A criminal gang claimed responsibility for the kidnap of an Italian aid worker in the Afghan capital Kabul and demanded the release from prison of its leaders, police said.
Abdul Jamil, director of Kabul police's criminal investigation department, said the gang was willing to release Clementina Cantoni, 32, who works for CARE International, in exchange for their leader Tela Mohammed and several accomplices.
"The criminal group of Tela Mohammed, who is in police custody, contacted police and claimed responsibility for the abduction of the Italian woman," Jalil told AFP, ruling out the involvement of Taliban or Al-Qaeda militants.
Cantoni was dragged from her car by armed men in the Qala-e-Mosa district of Kabul on Monday. Her driver, who managed to escape, was being questioned by police. Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said Cantoni was well. "We know that she is fine because the kidnappers contacted Afghan authorities," he added.
Fini would not be drawn on whether there had been a ransom demand. "All will be done to free one of our compatriots who is only involved in a humanitarian mission," he said.