SHAFAQNA – Suspected Taliban terrorists have kidnapped nine Shia Muslim passengers in Afghanistan’s northern province of Sar-e Pol and transferred them to unknown locations, local officials say.
“The ill-fated passengers were going from provincial capital, Sar-e Pol city, to [the province’s] Balkhab district Wednesday morning when a group of armed people, presumably Taliban militants, intercepted their vehicles in Damarda area,” Hayatullah Alamai, a member of Sar-e Pol provincial council, told China’s official Xinhua news agency.
Alamai did not provide further details about the abduction in Sar-e Pol, located 350 km north of the Afghan capital city of Kabul.
Ghulam Nabi Khuram, another provincial council member in Sar-e Pol, also confirmed the event, blaming the Taliban for the kidnapping.
Abductions are common in the violence-hit Afghanistan that has suffered decades of continuous war.
In a similar incident, unknown gunmen kidnapped four people in the northern province of Balkh on Sunday night. The abductees’ fate is still unknown.
On February 23, masked gunmen abducted 31 Shia Muslims who were traveling on two buses in Afghanistan’s central province of Zabul. The government has yet to secure their release.