February 18, 2016 / 4:42 PM / 2 years ago

Red Cross halts operations in Afghan province after staff taken

KABUL (Reuters) - The Red Cross has suspended operations in the central Afghan province of Ghazni after an armed group kidnapped five local staff members, the international aid organization said on Thursday.

The five Afghan staff were stopped and abducted as they were traveling by road in the province, which has seen frequent kidnappings and murders on its highways.

An emailed statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan said the organization had established contacts and was working to secure the release of its staff, who were detained on Tuesday.

It said it had halted operations in Ghazni and was reviewing security elsewhere in Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for aid workers. However, activities in the rest of the country were continuing, the statement said.

Reporting by James Mackenzie; editing by Katharine Houreld

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