An Australian woman has reportedly been kidnapped by armed men in eastern Afghanistan. Katherine Jane Wilson, 60, also known as Kerry, was taken from her office by a group of men in military uniform, media reports confirm.
With support from an UK aid agency, she works in Jalalabad region in Afghanistan for an NGO called Zardozi, which helps poor women start their own handicrafts business. She has previously been associated with a Dutch non-profit organisation to help refugees. However, the committee has said she no longer works for them.
Katherine's 91-year-old father, Brian Wilson, has made an emotional plea for her safe return, the ABC reported.
"I presume she's a hostage, and that they'll do their best to keep her alive and not harm her, simply because they want to have something or other in return and it's not very good having a dead hostage," Wilson said.
It is not clear who is responsible for her abduction or where she has been taken, or whether any ransom has been demanded for her release.
Working with charities related to women's rights, Katherine has been in the region for more than 20 years, her father said.
He added: "She's on the security network, it's always dangerous. There's always peril in the background."
A local journalist, Bilal Sarwary has tweeted confirming her abduction, and said the kidnappers knew of Katherine's movements.
The Australian foreign ministry is working closely with Afghan authorities to locate the aid worker.