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Taliban kidnap 19 passengers in Kandahar-Uruzgan route

AT-KABUL: The armed Taliban insurgents have kidnapped at least nineteen passengers from Kandahar-Uruzgan highway, provincial official lamented on Wednesday.

The latest incident of kidnapping happened in Kandahar-Uruzgan highway near Khansheen district of Kandahar province, where the Afghan security forces have been battling the insurgents in some parts of Uruzgan province.

Confirming the news, Zia Durrani, Kandahar Police Spokesman, said tens of Taliban fighters late Tuesday night intercepted several passenger cars and buses in the highway within the two provinces, in which they abducted at least 19 passengers.

A few off duty policemen were also among the abductees, he said, adding the kidnapped passengers have been shifted to unknown location somewhere between Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces.

Rescue operations have already been launched, and the location will soon truce.

The Taliban insurgents in a bid to deceive passengers and security forces, were come to fore in disguise of army personals.

According to Durrani, policemen stationed in a nearby check-post tried level best to rescue the passengers, but, unfortunately, clash erupted between them, in which five policemen embraced martyrdom. In addition to that, six others received injuries.

The highway is passing through an insecure part of Uruzgan, a province where the Taliban insurgents have strong presence.  Most parts of the province, except headquarters or centers of the districts, have been under influence of the Talban insurgents.

In the past, several passengers were kidnapped, some of them released, but a large number of them killed or still missing.

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