KABUL: The Taliban militants have abducted 27 members of the People’s Peace Movement (PPM) in western Farah province, the leader of the group claimed on Wednesday.
According to Iqbal Khaibar, the movement’s leader, the militants took the activists from Bala Buluk district while they were travelling in a peace march from the neighboring western Herat province.
Khaibar said they didn’t know about the marchers’ whereabouts because the Taliban had not responded to their queries; however, efforts were ongoing to work for the release of their members with the help of influential and tribal elders.
Bismillah Watandost, spokesman for PPM, complained that “this is a fourth time the militants have taken away members of our group.”
The kidnapped PPM workers were part of a convoy en route to Herat that left Helmand province a fortnight ago, the movement added.
The abducted activists were in the middle of a new round of protests, travelling around the country to spread a message of peace. They have been calling on all sides of the conflict to agree upon a ceasefire, a statement from the movement reads.
The Taliban has been suspicious about the movement, with some of the militants taking to social media to criticize the activists for being silent against US airstrikes, which they say have at times led to civilian casualties.
However, the PPM has always maintained to be an impartial group, only advocating for peace in the war-torn country.
This comes as the Taliban have so far neither denied nor claimed responsibility for the incident.