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Afghan Police Arrest Suspects Linked to Election Workers' Abduction

Afghan authorities say they have arrested three people in connection with the abduction Thursday of three foreign election workers in Kabul.

Afghan officials say the men arrested Friday were wearing military uniforms but did not belong to either the Afghan armed forces or any foreign forces deployed in Afghanistan.

The men are suspected of helping kidnap three election workers, an Irish woman, a Filipino man and woman from Serbia, from their United Nations car at gunpoint.

A Pakistani man contacted VOA, along with other news organizations, following the incident, claiming responsibility in the name of the Jaish-e Muslimeen, or Muslim Army.

Other reports say members of Afghanistan's former Taleban government claim to have carried out the kidnapping.

Neither group, however, has offered proof of holding the election workers or has issued demands.

Retired Pakistani Lieutenant General Talat Masood says such groups still pose a security problem for the Afghan government.

But he adds that militants are receiving less and less support from the Afghan people, as they do not offer a viable alternative to the post-war government.

"Well, surely there are a few disgruntled groups, both in Pakistan and in southern and eastern Afghanistan which are still operating," Mr. Masood said. "But I think that it would be possible to liquidate them, because they have truly no agenda."

He says the current government has gained credibility among the Afghan public by holding a relatively transparent presidential election earlier this month.

Transitional President Hamid Karzai won the October 9 vote, pending certification of the election results.