Taliban kidnap 28 Hazara travelers in Afghanistan
Kabul, Nov 25 (efe-epa).- The Taliban on Wednesday kidnapped 28 members of the persecuted Hazara minority while they were traveling on a highway in Afghanistan’s central Maidan Wardak province.
The kidnapping took place at around 10.30 am on a major road in the Jalriz district of Maidan Wardak, when the Hazara passengers were on their way to Kabul, provincial police spokesperson Muhammad Ofiani told EFE.
“Armed Taliban fighters intercepted several cars and vans on the main road and abducted 28 passengers, all of them men,” Ofiani said.
The women, children and elderly people traveling in the vehicles were freed by the militants, a provincial official of Maidan Wardak told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
All the passengers were residents of the Behsoud district of the province, which has a majority Hazara population.
The police said that one of the reasons behind the kidnapping could be that members of the Hazara community in the province do not allow the Taliban to enter their villages and have resisted their attacks.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told EFE that the group was “currently collecting information in this regard,” without providing further details.
The central parts of Afghanistan, especially the areas inhabited by the Hazaras, have been among the safest in the country during the two decades of war, as the community has prevented Taliban fighters from operating in these regions.
The rebel group has tried to attack the Hazara villages and districts in recent years, but most of these offensives have failed as security forces repelled them with the help of local residents.
The Afghan government and Talban have been participating in peace negotiations in Doha since September aiming to reach a peace agreement, although the negotiators have admitted the lack of any significant process so far. EFE-EPA