Risky business

Diplomats, development staff get training to handle capture by Taliban

Working in a war zone is fraught with peril, especially for civilians who don't have the same training as soldiers.

To improve their chances of getting home safely, the Canadian Forces is giving diplomats and development staff deployed in Afghanistan training, which was previously reserved for soldiers, to help them avoid capture by the enemy and what to do if captured.

The mandatory, five-day Conduct After Capture training course will be customized based on the civilians' jobs and their proximity to the Taliban.

Civilians will take the course at a Canadian Forces base in in Kingston, Ont., prior to deployment. The course will provide "direction and guidance on how to avoid capture, improve conditions of captivity and increase the chance of release if detained or captured by hostile forces," Joffre Le Blanc, a spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Department, told the Canadian Press.

Since the war in Afghanistan began the Taliban have taken high-profile civilians hostage, including Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan and an Italian journalist. Both were released after their respective countries agreed to release militant prisoners.

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