KABUL - A senior Afghan government official was kidnapped along with his driver on his way to work in Kabul on Tuesday, an interior ministry official said. Ahmad Shah Waheed, deputy minister for public works, was taken by gunmen at around 7:00 am (0230 GMT) from the Khairkhana neighbourhood of the capital, said the official who declined to be named. He did not elaborate, saying more information could harm efforts to recover the men.

Hashmatullah Stanikzai, Kabul police spokesman, confirmed the incident, adding: “Afghan police forces have launched a search to secure his release.”

The motive for the incident is not clear, but kidnapping of wealthy individuals for ransom is common in Afghanistan.