Two aid workers kidnapped in Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, Jun 15, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Two Afghan staff members of a Dutch medical aid organization have been kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan, Radio Netherlands reported Friday.

The two staff members of HealthNet TPO, a doctor and his chauffeur, were on a work visit and failed to return to the hospital where they are based, said Radio Netherlands, without specifying the time of the incident.

A ransom demand for 100,000 U.S. dollars was later received by telephone. The kidnappers are threatening to behead the two men if the ransom is not paid, Radio Netherlands said.

The abduction happened in the troubled Nangahar province, where the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. forces are operating against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

HealthNet, a non-governmental organization, has informed the United Nations mission in Afghanistan of the situation in the hope that it can mediate in the hostages' release.