An Afghan widow holds a photograph of Clementina Cantoni to condemn her kidnapping during a protest in Kabul
Afghan police say a criminal gang has claimed responsibility for kidnapping an Italian aid worker, who was seized from her car in Kabul by four gunmen on Monday.

Police officials say the gang contacted authorities Tuesday to claim the abduction. But it was not immediately clear if the group had made demands. Afghan officials say security forces continue to search for the woman and her abductors.

About 200 Afghan widows, who have received help from the aid worker, staged a brief demonstration in Kabul today, demanding her immediate release.

Kabul was largely free of the fear of Iraq-style kidnappings until last October, when three United Nations election workers were seized at gunpoint. They were released unharmed a month later.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.