Cyd Mizell, a US aid worker from Eureka, California and her Afghan driver were kidnapped in southern Afghanistan in January 2008. According to the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, both 50 year old Cyd Mizell and her driver are feared dead.
Cyd Mizell & driver Abdul Hadi
Mizell worked on aid projects for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, or ARLDF.
A statement posted on the group’s Web site says, although there’s no confirmation, information has been received indicating the two aid workers have been killed.
No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions.
The kidnappings happened in an area known for insurgent activity. (KCBS)
Fate of US aid worker a mystery two months on, say officials
ARDLF said in a statement a month later that it had received “information over the past few days indicating that our two aid workers have been killed.”
This was, however, never confirmed and an ARDLF employee in southern Kandahar city, where they were taken, said Tuesday that they were just “rumours”.
“The case is still open,” a US official said Tuesday.
The kidnappers never contacted authorities, said Assadullah Khalid, the governor of the volatile southern province of Kandahar, the heartland of the Taliban movement waging a deadly insurgency that has included kidnappings.
“No conditions were set,” he told AFP.
The Taliban have repeatedly denied involvement, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed saying again Tuesday: “Our military friends have not abducted the American woman.”
Parents respond to word that kidnapped US aid worker feared dead
Statement from the parents of missing Cyd Mizell
We are all heartbroken to receive credible reports of the deaths of our daughter, Cyd, and Muhammad Hadi, her driver, in Afghanistan. While these reports remain unconfirmed, we are beginning to accept that the hoped-for outcome may no longer be possible.
Cyd knew before she went to Afghanistan that it could be a dangerous place, but she went because she loved the Afghan people and dedicated her life to serving them. We are trying to understand why someone would kill a gentle, caring person who came to their country to help the poor. Many of the people of Kandahar came to love her almost as much as we loved her, and all of us share her loss.
We thank everyone who has worked so hard to secure her release and who now seek to confirm what we’ve heard. We thank everyone around the world who’s been praying for Cyd, and for us.
Please continue to keep our family and Mr. Hadi’s family in your prayers.
We ask now that you please respect our privacy as we wait for confirmation and grieve for our Cydney.
Cyd Mizell, a 49 year old American woman was kidnapped from a residential neighborhood as she was on her way to work in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Masked gunmen kidnapped a burqa-clad American aid worker and her driver. The abduction took place at 7:50 am local time in District 6 on the south side of the downtown.
Cyd Mizell, who worked in Kandahar for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, was snatched from a residential neighborhood as she was on her way to work. Jeff Palmer, the aid group’s international director, said the group had not been contacted by the kidnappers and that he did not know their identity or demands.
Asadullah Khalid, the provincial governor, blamed the kidnappings on the “enemy of Islam and the enemy of Afghanistan.” Khalid said the 49-year-old American was wearing a burqa when she was seized.
A Taliban spokesman said he had no immediate information that the Islamic militia was behind the kidnappings.
Kidnappings for ransom are an increasing problem in Afghanistan. Dozens of Afghans have been abducted in the last year, and heavy rumors persist nationwide of foreign governments paying large ransoms to win the freedom of their citizens.
In a likely plea to the woman’s captors, Khalid noted that Mizell respected Afghan traditions by wearing the burqa and speaking the local languages. She did not travel with armed guards, he said.
American Woman Kidnapped in Afghanistan
US woman kidnapped in Afghanistan
An American aid worker has been kidnapped with her driver while travelling to work in a volatile region in southern Afghanistan.
Unknown gunmen took the pair outside of the southern city of Kandahar, said provincial governor Asadullah Khalid.
He said the gunmen had not contacted the government or the aid agency Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, where she worked.
Mr Khalid added that police and intelligence officials were working to find the woman, who he said had lived in the country for years. (BBC)
UPDATE I: Afghan Women Protest American Kidnapping
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — About 500 Afghan women gathered in a rare mass protest Tuesday against the kidnapping of an American aid worker. The women, many wearing burqas, called on officials to find the captive American and urged the kidnappers to release her.
Officials said they still had not identified any suspects in the kidnapping of Cyd Mizell and her Afghan driver, Abdul Hadi. Gunmen abducted the two Saturday in a residential neighborhood of the southern city of Kandahar.
The demonstration by so many Afghan women in the conservative southern province of Kandahar was a rare display of women’s wishes. The 90-minute meeting was filled with prayers and speeches calling on government leaders to act.