Malaysian Abducted and Killed in Afghanistan, Foreign Ministry Says

BenarNews staff
180802-MY-kabul-1000.jpg Families leave their homes after a rocket strike in the western part of Kabul, Afghanistan, July 24, 2018.

A Malaysian working for the French food services company Sodexo was among three foreign nationals abducted earlier this week and killed in Kabul on Thursday, the company’s CEO and Malaysia’s foreign ministry said in separate statements.

The bodies of the Malaysian and two other foreign nationals were found in Mussahi district, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“No group has claimed responsibilities for the incident,” the ministry’s statement said.

Denis Machuel, Sodexo CEO, confirmed that the three men were Sodexo employees and were Malaysian, Indian and Macedonian.

“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the tragic loss of three of our team members,” he said in a statement. “I want to say that our hearts are with their families, friends and colleagues.”

“Sodexo is working closely with the authorities in Kabul and will share further information when available,” he said. ‘We are putting in place a psychological support line for our local employees.”

Sodexo, headquartered in a Paris suburb, is one of the world’s largest corporations, with about 420,000 employees representing 130 nationalities. It is also the world’s second-largest food and catering company with presence in 80 countries, including Malaysia.

Afghanistan police told reporters that the 64-year-old Malaysian was found dead in a car in the Massahi district with his two co-workers, a 39-year-old Indian and a 37-year-old Macedonian. The three had gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The killings were the latest in a string of similar attacks during the past few years in Afghanistan. While kidnapping have mainly affected Afghans who are abducted for ransom, foreigners have also been targeted, either by criminals looking for ransom or by militant groups.

Kabul police and Afghan interior ministry officials have issued conflicting details leading to the abduction and killing.

Police said the three men were being driven to work by their Afghan driver when gunmen stopped the car and forced the trio to switch to another, according to the New York Times. But a spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry told the paper that it appeared that the men got into the second car voluntarily and the driver returned an hour later and reported the three men had been kidnapped.

The driver has been arrested and was being interrogated by police, local reports said.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told BenarNews his department is investigating the case and would release information on developments from time to time.

Sodexo manages canteens and also provides food preparation services for the military, including the U.S. Marine Corps, schools, offices, hospitals and prisons in Afghanistan. The company also produces food and gift coupons.

Previous kidnappings in Afghanistan, which have been blamed either on criminal gangs or the Taliban, include the killing of 21 foreigners in 2014 during an attack on a popular Kabul restaurant.


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