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LEAD: British engineer kidnapped in Afghanistan.

KABUL, Sept. 1 Kyodo


Armed militants believed to be remnants of the former Taliban regime kidnapped a British engineer in an attack on a convoy of vehicles in western Afghanistan in which four policemen were killed, local police and Afghan Islamic Press reported Thursday.

The British national whose identity is not known was abducted in Farah Province on Wednesday after a group of armed men attacked a convoy of vehicles, the police said.

Pakistan-based AIP quoted security officials as saying the construction company employee was kidnapped about 15 kilometers from Farah, capital of the province, while traveling in a convoy of vehicles on the Heart-Kandahar highway that is under construction.

Farah police chief Soofi Mohammad Aman reportedly said the vehicle in which the Briton was kidnapped was found near mountains and it is feared he had been taken to a mountain hideout.

Turbans worn by Taliban and traces of blood were found in the vehicle, the report said.

The BBC quoted a British Foreign Office spokeswoman as saying, ''We are aware an incident has taken place in Afghanistan as a result of which a U.K. national is missing and we are urgently seeking further details from the Afghan authorities.''

An earlier report by AIP had said a Nepalese traveling with the British engineer was also kidnapped but managed to escape and hide under a bridge.

The kidnapping comes just weeks after the kidnapping of a Lebanese engineer involved in the construction of another road in southern Afghanistan. The man was released unhurt a few days later.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks in the lead-up to parliamentary elections on Sept. 18.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Sep 5, 2005
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