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US military contractor goes missing in Afghanistan

Mark R. Frerichs abducted in Khost province last week, says media report

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 06.02.2020
US military contractor goes missing in Afghanistan

ANKARA

A U.S. army contractor went missing in Afghanistan, according to a media report.

A regular traveler to Afghanistan since 2012, Mark R. Frerichs from Illinois is a U.S. citizen and a former diver in the country's naval service.

He is said to have been “captured by Taliban-aligned militants” in Afghanistan's southeastern Khost province last Friday, reported the U.S. weekly magazine, Newsweek.

While the U.S. have yet to officially confirm the abduction, the Department of State and Department of Defense along with the FBI launched countrywide rescue operations to locate the missing contractor, the magazine said.

Frerichs leads the International Logistical Support, a firm which works with the U.S. government. He also worked as a civil engineer for the government and non-governmental organizations in Iraq and Sudan.

Mired in an unending conflict between Taliban and U.S.-led forces, the war-torn Afghanistan continues to suffer. At least 157,000 people, including 43,000 civilians, have been killed since 2001.

Peace negotiations led by Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, seek to end the 18-year war.

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