Afghan Taliban take 20 military soldiers as hostage

Shares
Afghan Taliban take 20 military soldiers as hostage

*KABUL - The Taliban released more than 160 civilian passengers a day after they were kidnapped from three buses in northern Afghanistan but kept at least 20 soldiers and policemen as captives, an official said on Tuesday.*

Nearly 200 passengers were taken as hostages by Taliban insurgents near the northern province of Kunduz on Monday as they travelled to the capital, Kabul.

“More than 160 civilians have reached home safely but at least 20 soldiers and policemen have been taken to an undisclosed location by the Taliban,” said Ghulam Rabani Rabani, a provincial council member in Kunduz.

Two Taliban commanders confirmed the release of the civilians. One said the insurgents had no intention of harming the civilians, who were travelling during the Eid-ul-Azha holiday, but they would hold the police and soldiers as prisoners.

“We wanted to convey a powerful message to the government that we can launch many attacks and defeat them at every level,” said one of the commanders, who declined to be identified.