Afghan Taliban capture 15 Afghan National Army Soldiers including two foreigners

KABUL: Fifteen soldiers including two foreigners were taken hostage by the Taliban on Tuesday after their helicopter crash-landed in northern Afghanistan, local officials and militant sources said. The helicopter went down after experiencing technical problems, local officials said, and 15 people on board were seized by the militant group, including two foreign soldiers whose nationality is yet to be confirmed. Three people were also killed in the crash, which happened in the Pashtun Kot district of Faryab province, an area near the border with Turkmenistan that is partly controlled by the Taliban. The Afghan army launched an operation late Tuesday to try and rescue the group, but was forced to abandon the raid after facing strong resistance from the insurgents. “We captured 15 (people). If the army doesn’t stop (its rescue attempts) we will execute them,” Damullah Wakil, a local Taliban official, told AFP. In late September the Taliban temporarily seized control of provincial capital Kunduz — the first time the group had taken control of a major city since being toppled from power in 2001. Galvanized by the brief conquest, they launched assaults on other cities, including the capital of Faryab province, Maimana, but they were pushed back by heavily armed local residents, while local security forces reportedly abandoned their posts. Reference : Japan times