B'desh urges release of aid worker in Afghanistan

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DHAKA, Sep 17 (Reuters) Bangladesh called today for the release of an aid worker abducted in Afghanistan by four gunmen at the weekend.

Bangladesh does not have any troops in Afghanistan, and the kidnapped aid worker Nurul Islam was working for Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee when he was taken away in Logar province, south of Kabul, the government said.

''We fervently appeal to those who have abducted him to immediately release him. His mission in Afghanistan is purely humanitarian and he is there only to help his Afghan brethren,'' Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, adviser to the interim government and incharge of the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The aid agency has been active in Afghanistan since 2002, aiming to empower the poor with programmes in micro-finance, education, health and agriculture.

The Taliban have said they will kidnap citizens of the 41 foreign nations with troops in Afghanistan, but not citizens of other countries.

REUTERS SKB VC1633

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