SHAFAQNA- An Afghan official says up to 20 Shi’ite from Hazara ethnic have been abducted in the volatile southern province of Zabul.
Ghulam Jalani Farahi, deputy provincial police chief, said on Saturday it is not yet known if the abductees are men or women. He says they were forced off buses by unidentified gunmen before dawn Saturday on the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
No one has yet claimed responsibility. Both Taliban and the so-called Islamic State group have been blamed for past abductions. Hazaras are Shiite Muslims.
This month seven Hazaras were found beheaded in Zabul after being abducted in neighboring Ghazni province up to six months earlier.
The killings sparked demonstrations nationwide, including in Kabul, where thousands of people demanded the government improve security across the country.
Taliban militants are suspected to have killed the seven, who had been kidnapped in the neighboring Ghazni Province nearly six months earlier.
24,000 Afghan families displaced by ISIS
An Afghan official says more than 24,000 families have fled their homes in the country’s troubled eastern province of Nangarhar amid the atrocities being perpetrated by the Takfiri Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) terrorist group.
“The total number of the displaced families was around 20,000, but now this figure has risen to more than 24,000,” Ghulam Haidar Faqirzai, the head of the organization for internally displaced families in the province, said on Friday.
Provincial Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi also confirmed that thousands of families have been displaced ever since Daesh militants started their activities in the province, arguing that sufficient aid has not been provided to the needy families.
A displaced local said, “Government should establish a camp for us and help us. We didn’t receive any aid over the past several months.”
“They (officials) claim to have launched a military operation, but the fact is they do not go anywhere beyond their checkpoints,” another resident claimed.
“Daesh fighters killed my father. Daesh forced him to sit on a bomb, and then detonated the explosive device,” another civilian from the area said.
Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, said on Friday that 12 Daesh terrorists had been killed and five others wounded as Afghan forces launched an operation in the provincial Achin district the previous night.
He added that three Afghan government troops also sustained injuries during the offensive.
Nangarhar has been witnessing a rise in the number of Daesh terrorists in some of its districts in recent months.
Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. Although the 2001 attack overthrew the Taliban, many areas across Afghanistan still face violence and insecurity.