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Afghan Women Protest Kidnapping of American in Kandahar

Some 500 Afghan women have gathered in a rare demonstration in southern Kandahar province, demanding the release of a female American aid worker kidnapped Saturday.

The women called on the Kandahar religious council and government leaders to condemn the abduction of 49-year-old Cyd Mizell and her driver in the conservative city.

They said Mizell has been teaching at the local high school and helping the women of Kandahar sell their embroidery.

Mizell has lived in the city since 2002 and speaks the local language, Pashtu.

Local officials and her employer, a non-governmental organization, Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, working on development projects in the region, say no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Several Westerners have been abducted in Afghanistan in the last year, including two German workers and a group of South Korean Christian missionaries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.