Afghan women protest kidnapping of American

AP/Houston Chronicle:

About 500 Afghan women gathered in a rare mass protest today against the kidnapping of an American aid worker. The women, many wearing burqas, called on officials to find the captive American and urged the kidnappers to release her.

Officials said they still had not identified any suspects in the kidnapping of Cyd Mizell and her Afghan driver, Abdul Hadi. Gunmen abducted the two Saturday in a residential neighborhood of the southern city of Kandahar.

The demonstration by so many Afghan women in the conservative southern province of Kandahar was a rare display of women's wishes. The 90-minute meeting was filled with prayers and speeches calling on government leaders to act.

Rona Tareen, director of the Kandahar Women's Association, urged Mizell's captives to free her immediately, saying she had helped Kandahar's women with small business projects.

"She was here helping the woman in Kandahar. She was trying to get their embroidery outside of the country," Tareen told the 500 to 600 women — many wearing the all-encompassing burqa — who gathered in a Kandahar wedding hall. The crowd estimate came from participants in the rally and an Associated Press journalist.

"Her kidnapping is against our culture and tradition," Tareen said. "We demand that the kidnappers free her immediately."


The cultural faux pas of those responsible for the kidnapping has brought out an uncommon resistance. It is an example of how the enemy and the thugs are losing in Afghanistan.


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