29/10/2004

Efforts continue in bid to free NI woman

Efforts are continuing in a bid to free a Northern Ireland woman who was one of three people kidnapped in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Annetta Flanigan was one of three foreign UN election workers kidnapped in the Afghanistan capital Kabul yesterday by a group calling itself the Army of Muslims.

The group admitted that they were holding Mrs Flanigan outside Kabul along with her UN colleagues, a woman from Kosovo and a male diplomat from the Philippines.

Mrs Flanigan, who is from the Co Armagh town of Richhill, was providing technical assistance for parliamentary elections due to be held next April when the incident occurred.

A graduate of Queen's University in Belfast, Mrs Flanigan, who has joint British and Irish nationality, has worked as a solicitor in Portadown as well as spending time working in Bosnia and Rwanda.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that the government had already been in touch with her family, and that it was doing all it could to secure her release.

(MB/SP)

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