Mazar-i-Sharif: A Bangladeshi engineer working in northern Afghanistan has been killed and two road workers are being held hostage after a kidnapping incident, local police said on Saturday.
"Seven Afghan and Bangladeshi road construction workers were kidnapped last night," said Shirjan Duranai, spokesman for the police in Balkh province.
"One Bangladeshi was killed, four workers escaped, while two are still hostages."
The nationality of those still being held hostage is not clear, he said, adding that police had launched an investigation.
The incident took place on a road being constructed between the northern provinces of Samangan and Balkh.
Kidnappings in the area are sometimes linked to the Taliban but can also be related to gangs hoping to secure ransom payments.
Criminal groups and insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in Kabul. Most of the hostages are released safe and well.
In October, a Dutch aid worker and his Afghan driver were snatched at gunpoint while driving through northern Afghanistan`s remote Takhar province.
The Dutch government announced on December 2 that they had been freed.
Most abductions of foreigners in Afghanistan are carried out by criminal gangs, who then sell their hostages to Taliban insurgents fighting against the Western-backed government and foreign troops.
British aid worker Linda Norgrove was kidnapped with three Afghan colleagues in eastern Afghanistan on September 26 and died when elite US Navy SEALs threw a grenade during a rescue attempt in October.