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Afghan Officials Investigate Kidnappings

29 October 2004 -- Security officials in Afghanistan today are investigating the kidnapping of three foreigners who had helped oversee the country's first direct presidential election earlier this month.

Witnesses say the three -- a British-Irish woman, a woman from Kosovo, and a male diplomat from the Philippines -- were pulled from their UN-marked car by armed men in military uniforms in Kabul.

The daylight kidnapping yesterday came as members of Afghanistan's ousted Taliban have warned that they would target foreigners for kidnap as insurgents are doing in Iraq.

Also yesterday, NATO's top commander in Europe, U.S. General James Jones, expressed support for a U.S. suggestion that all military operations in Afghanistan be put under a unified command. Currently, NATO leads a multinational security force of 9,000 troops, while a separate U.S.-led force of 20,000 soldiers searches for members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.