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Taliban kidnap tens of passengers in Paktia

KABUL: Taliban gunmen have kidnapped dozens of passengers in Sayed Karam district of southeastern Paktia province on Saturday morning, local officials and residents said.

The residents said gunmen have taken passengers with them in Badam Kanda locality of the district around 6:00am.

Mohammad-ur-Rahman Qaderi, provincial council secretary, said hundreds of Taliban fighters arrived on the streets and started searching for passengers.

He added militants’ operation lasted several hours and the passengers were forced out from at least 30 vehicles and were taken to undisclosed location.

Security forces, he said did not take immediate action and the area was tense after the kidnapping of civilians.

Zalmai Oryakhail, provincial police chief, confirmed Taliban have made the passengers hostage. He said security operations were ongoing in the area but he had no more details to share.

Rahim Gul, a resident of the area, said hundreds of Taliban fighters were on the roads searching passengers’ vehicles. Hours later, he said, security forces arrived in the area.

But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was unaware who was behind the kidnapping. (PAN)

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