Three employees of catering firm Sodexo abducted, killed in Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) - Three foreign nationals working for French catering company Sodexo were abducted and killed in Kabul on Thursday, deepening concerns about security of expatriates in Afghanistan.

Sodexo, which employs around 230 staff in Afghanistan, expressed shock and said it was working closely with Afghan authorities.

“An Indian, a Malaysian and a Macedonian citizen were abducted and killed. We have found their bodies,” Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, told Reuters.

Kidnapping has been a major problem in Afghanistan in recent years. While it mainly affects Afghans abducted for ransom, foreigners have also been targeted, either by criminals or by militant groups.

“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the tragic loss of three of our team members in Kabul, Afghanistan, today,” Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel said in a statement.

Police said the men were abducted near Pul-e-Charkhi on the eastern outskirts of Kabul and their bodies were found in a car parked in the Mussahi district in the southern part of Kabul province.

“They were shot dead and their bodies were found inside a car,” said Nusrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the interior ministry.

The Malaysian national was 64, the Indian 39 and the Macedonian 37. They were all traveling for work with a local driver.

Sodexo manages canteens and facilities for offices, the military, schools, hospitals and prisons, and also supplies vouchers for meals and gifts. Its clients range from the Royal Ascot Racecourse in England to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Reporting by Rupam Jain; Abdul Qadir Sediqi, additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon in Paris, Editing Matthias Blamont and Robin Pomeroy