Insurgents Abduct 17 Passengers in Ghazni

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Insurgents reportedly abducted 17 passengers in central Ghazni province on Tuesday, local officials said.

The incident took place along the Qarabagh and Jaghori district highway after insurgents stopped five vehicles and abducted 17 passengers, a member of Provincial Council of Ghazni, Hassan Reza Yousufi said.

“The passengers were travelling from the capital of the province to Jaghori district of the province,” Yousufi said.

“The passengers have been taken to an unknown location,” he added.

The tribal elders were trying to negotiate with insurgents to release the passengers but “so far it was not successful,” he said.

He warned “if the government does not send troops in to secure the highways of the districts, the highways will become more insecure.”

However, government has not yet commented on the incident – neither has the Taliban.

Kidnapping cases have increased substantially in the country in recent months, especially on provincial highways.

In February, armed gunmen kidnapped 31 bus passengers in Zabul. After months of negotiations 19 were released in a reported prisoner swap. However, the whereabouts of the remaining 12 hostages is still unknown.

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