The Taliban raided the office of a Swiss nonprofit group in Afghanistan and reportedly took into custody an American and 17 others.
The International Assistance Mission confirmed the Taliban’s two separate raids in its office in Ghor, according to the nonprofit’s press release. On the first raid of September 3, the Taliban took three people, and on the second raid on September 13, they took 15 workers.
The Christian-based organization has served in Afghanistan for 57 years and works to improve health care and education in the country.
According to local Afghan spokesman Abdul Wahid Hamas, the workers were taken into custody on charges of “propagating and promoting Christianity.”
“We stand by the principle that “aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.” the nonprofit stated. “All IAM staff agree to abide by the laws of Afghanistan.”
The 18 staff members are currently in an unknown location in Kabul.
“We are also working together with the UN and ACBAR, the coordinating body for NGOs in Afghanistan, to deepen our understanding of the situation and to work for the quick release of our 18 colleagues,” International Assistance Mission wrote.
Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, nonprofit organizations have been under greater scrutiny in the country. The Taliban has banned women from working for aid organizations in the country, the New York Post reported.