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Taliban kill 12 passengers on Kabul-Kunduz Highway

AT-KABUL: Taliban fighters have killed at least 12 people, after kidnapping more than 220 passengers from several busses on the Kabul-Kunduz highway in northern Afghanistan, official sources told Afghanistan Times.

Tens of Taliban fighters with light and heavy weapons early in the morning on Tuesday established temporary check points in various parts along the highway in Ali Abad district of Kunduz and then intercepted several passenger busses and cars. “They took all the passengers with them to Chardara district,” Hijarat Akbari, Kudnuz Police Press Office Officer, told Afghanistan Times.

The militants shot death at least six passengers shortly after taking them hostages near to the highway and then killed at least six or seven more in Chardara district, he said.

Afghan police launched rescue operation. More than 150 passengers have been rescued and over 30 are still in captivity but police are trying to rescue them.

Another local official, who wished anonymity, said that all passengers were civilians and residents of Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces.

Abdul Wahab, a driver who is employee of a private transport company using the highway every day, said that the highway is insecure for the past several months, not only in Kunduz, but also in neighboring Baghlan province and some parts of Takhar as well. He says the government was not serious about improvement of security on the highway.

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