Afghan Taliban kidnap 180 bus passengers, 10 killed
Kabul, May 31 (IANS) At least 10 people were killed on Tuesday as Taliban intercepted three buses in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, kidnapping over 180 passengers besides the drivers, police said.
“Over 160 passengers were released. At least 10 were killed while 18 people still remain in Taliban custody,” Xinhua cited a provincial police department statement as saying.
The incident occurred in Ali Abad district. The police and the local elders have stepped up efforts to free the remaining people, the statement said.
Earlier reports said 17 people were killed by the Taliban militants.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. They told the media that the killed people were members of Afghan security forces.
The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since early April when the militant group launched its annual offensive in the country.
The Taliban have urged civilians to stay away from official gatherings, military convoys and centres regarded as the legitimate targets by militants besides warning people not to support the government.
About 600 civilians were killed and more than 1,340 injured in conflict-related violence and Taliban-led militancy in the first quarter of the year, according to UN mission in Afghanistan.