Three men were kidnapped and shot dead in a car on Thursday, in Kabul, Afghanistan. They were Indian, Macedonian and Malaysian, and Afghan authorities have stated that they worked for Sodexo, a French food services and facilities management company — one of the largest multinational corporations in the world. The men were en route to the airport when they were taken and murdered.
The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom is common practice in Afghanistan these days. In early May, seven Indians were kidnapped in the Baghlan province, and the Taliban were believed responsible. A year ago, a Finnish medical missionary working for Operation Mercy was kidnapped but eventually released after several months. What has been made clear is that hostage-taking is not purely relegated to the obviously rich, nor is it confined only to Americans. Aid workers, contractors, and missionaries are all at risk just as someone working out of the embassy.
As security continues to deteriorate throughout Kabul, the U.S. Embassy has released several warnings to American personnel in the area. The latest, released on July 13, 2018, reads as follows:
Event: The U.S. Embassy in Kabul advises U.S. citizens that insurgent groups and criminal organizations continue to target U.S. citizens and foreigners for kidnapping and hostage taking, including doctors and other medical professionals, engineers, teachers, aid and development workers, government employees, journalists, and visitors. These groups may target places where civilians are known to congregate, including banks, markets, hospitals, guest houses and hotels, and public gatherings.