30 Hazaras abucted in Central Afghanistan
KANDAHAR: A bus carrying 30 Shia men travelling through Central Afghanistan has been abducted by masked men, officials said on Tuesday.
The incident took place when members of the Hazara group on Monday evening were moving through Zabul province, between the western city of Herat and the capital Kabul.
“Our driver saw a group of masked men in Afghan army uniform signalling him and he thought they were soldiers so he stopped,” said Nasir Ahmad, an official with the Ghazni Paima bus company, told AFP.
“The gunmen took 30 Hazaras away with them.”
Ahmad said the kidnappers took only the men on the two buses and released the women and children travelling with them.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the abduction, but kidnappings for ransom by bandits, local militias and the Taliban are common in Afghanistan.
There have been fears recently that the influence of the Islamic State group, which has a strong anti-Shia agenda, could be growing in Afghanistan.
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the police were “doing everything to ensure their safe release”.
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