Afghan Taliban kidnap dozens of bus passengers near Kunduz


Kunduz: About 150 people are reported to have been kidnapped after Taliban militants launched an ambush on three buses in northern Afghanistan.
A Taliban spokesman said they were targeting security forces travelling on the buses, adding the civilians would be released.
It comes a day after the government offered a conditional ceasefire.
President Ashraf Ghani said it would come into effect on Monday if the Taliban accepted.
Esmatullah Muradi, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor, said the bus passengers were taken to “an undisclosed location” after being forced from the vehicles on Monday morning.
The buses were travelling along a highway in an area under Taliban control, en route to the capital Kabul.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, they attacked the bus after “intelligence inputs revealed that many men working with Afghan security forces” were on board.
“We have taken the buses to a safe area to prevent any clashes and we are now identifying members of the security forces,” he added, saying civilians would be released.
According to provincial officials, however, the majority of the passengers have already been released, with just 21 still in the militants’ hands.
The Taliban have launched several attacks in recent weeks.


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