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Protestors seeking release of 29 kidnapped passengers set up camp

AT-KABUL: Tens of civil society activists and family members of the 29 abducted passengers set up a protest camp here in Zarnigar Park, not far from the Presidential Palace, aimed at prodding the government to speed up the rescue efforts.

They asked the government to speed up the efforts to release the 29 passengers who were abducted around 40 days ago in Zabul by unknown armed men.

The protest camp was established to urge the government to accelerate the rescue efforts as fate of the kidnapped passengers is uncertain.

The protester said the government has failed in its efforts to safely release the hostages. Till date the authorities have not made demands of the kidnappers public. It is unclear that whether the kidnappers want ransom or release of their comrades.

Family members of the abductees said that they want their loved ones back. They said through the camp they want to get attention of the government. They also accused the security apparatus of negligence in their duties and said that kidnapping has increased in the country, but the authorities were acting like spectators rather than enforcers of the laws.

So far no armed group has taken responsibility for the kidnapping, but it is that the Taliban are involved. However, the insurgent group denied its involvement. It is also said that the Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan might be involved.

Recently during an interview with a foreign news agency, the deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqiq said the Islamic State has abducted the 31 passengers.

He said that two ex-Taliban commanders who joined the IS recently were allegedly involved in the kidnapping.

The protestors said the government should halt peace talks with the Taliban until the abducted passengers were released.

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