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Canada says its citizen seized in Ghazni is tourist

Canada says its citizen seized in Ghazni is tourist

Feb 28, 2011 - 12:55

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Canadian government has denied one of its citizens, kidnapped in southern Ghazni province, is an intelligent agent.

Colin Rutherford travelled to Ghazni province as a tourist, Emmanuelle Lamoureux, a Canadian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said late on Sunday, adding they were in touch with Afghan authorities to ensure his safe release.

Hours earlier, Talibaninfo-icon insurgents claimed they had seized Rutherford, a Toronto resident. The captors said the foreigner was collecting "secret information" in the provincial capital, Ghazni City.

Documents recovered from Rutherford contained "sensitive reports", Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News. The rebels were contacted by a Canadian delegation, but there was no breakthrough at the talks, he added.

Also on Sunday, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa urged Canadians to avoid travelling to Afghanistaninfo-icon. Those who visit the country took serious risks, it warned.

The warning posted on the department's website said: "Terrorism is a continuous threat throughout Afghanistan. The threat to foreign nationals, including Canadians, from terrorist and criminal violence is extremely high."


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