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Jesuits' refugee director kidnapped in Afghanistan, authorities work to free him

The Jesuit religious order says the head of its refugee program in Afghanistan has been kidnapped.

The Jesuit Refugee Service said its Afghanistan country director, the Rev. Alexis Prem Kumar, was abducted by a group of men in western Afghanistan on Monday.

In a statement Tuesday, the service said the 47-year-old Indian national was taken from a school for returned refugees that he was visiting in Sohadat village, some 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Herat.

Deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Nadir Fahimi said six gunmen abducted him and may have taken him to the Gulran district. He said authorities are working with district elders to try to mediate his release.

Provincial Gov. Fazelullah Wahidi said: "We are trying to get him to safety."

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Amir Shah contributed from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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