U.S. civilian engineer found dead in Kabul 06 Sep 11

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (l) sits next to Afghan President Hamid Karzai as he waves to media during a Trilateral Summit between Islamic Republic of Iran, the I.R of Afghanistan and the Republic of Tajikistan

By Hamid Shalizi

KABUL | Tue Sep 6, 2011 5:32am EDT

(Reuters) – The body of a U.S. civilian engineer has been found in the Afghan capital, an Afghan intelligence source told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that the man who worked on a military base appeared to have been murdered.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said late on Monday that a U.S. Department of Defense civilian employee had died that day in eastern Afghanistan.

Security is tight in Kabul, even though violence is rising across other parts of the country, and it is rare for a foreigner to go missing in the capital.

Foreign military bases and diplomatic missions are among the most secure premises in the city, protected with high blast walls and coils of razor wire to ward off attackers.

Foreigners who work on these bases usually travel in convoys or under guard because of the threat of attack and kidnappings, a lucrative business in impoverished Afghanistan.

Scores of locals and foreigners have been abducted in recent years by criminals with financial motives and by Taliban-linked insurgents.

The Taliban struck last month when they raided a British cultural center in Kabul on the 92nd anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from British rule. Nine people were killed during the hours-long assault.

Afghan forces have had responsibility for security in the city since 2008, but there are hundreds of NATO forces stationed in and around the capital, and they are regularly called on to help during complex attacks.