70 villagers kidnapped in Afghanistan, at least 7 killed
Seventy Afghans were abducted Friday from their village along the main highway in the south of the country, and at least seven were killed, police said, accusing the Taliban of the kidnappings.
Around 30 villagers have been released but at least 30 others are still missing, Abdul Raziq, the head of Kandahar provincial police told AFP.
“The Taliban abducted 70 people from their house in a village along the Kandahar-Tarinkot highway, Friday. They killed seven of them today,” Raziq said. “Their bodies were found by villagers this morning.”
“They released 30 and are still keeping around 30 others,” he said, adding they were “civilian Pashtuns”, the ethnicity of many Taliban fighters.
The highway runs from Kandahar, the largest city in southern Afghanistan, to Tarinkot, capital of Uruzgan province, a poppy-growing area where the Taliban have a heavy presence.
It is not clear why the villagers were targeted. Government officials and security forces are usually the target of such incidents.
It is unusual for the Taliban to go into villages to take civilians as hostages. In general they intercept vehicles on the road, checking to see if passengers have links to the government.
The incident was confirmed by officials at the Independent Human Rights Commission in Kandahar and Kabul in a statement condemning the kidnappings and executions.
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