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Two Turkish Engineers Kidnapped In Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) -- Two Turkish engineers have been kidnapped in southeastern Afghanistan, Afghan and Turkish officials said.

Taliban insurgents as well as criminals and armed bands have kidnapped dozens of foreigners in Afghanistan in the last two years. Most have been freed unharmed, but a few have been killed.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, on a visit to the Afghan capital, said he had brought up the subject of the two missing engineers in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

"I expressed our worries over our citizens, who were kidnapped a few days ago and from whom we have not been able to get news, in my meeting today with Dr. Spanta and we are sure that Afghan officials will show all necessary efforts in this case," Babacan told a news conference.

"It is our strong desire and expectation as the Turkish Republic that our citizens should be returned to their homes and jobs in perfect health," he said.

The pair were traveling on a road in the southeastern province of Khost on October 23 when they were seized by gunmen, the provincial governor said.

Turkey has some 800 troops in Afghanistan, in and around Kabul, as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).