Taliban kill 16, abduct 30 people N. Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (KUNA) — At least 16 people were killed and dozens other kidnapped after militants stopped three vehicles on main highway in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province, said officials on Tuesday.
Spokesman for Kunduz Governor, Sayed Mahmood Danish told media that around 200 passengers were travelling in four buses towards Kabul when they were waylaid by Taliban gunmen.
“The Taliban shot dead 16 passengers and they are still holding more than 30 others,” said Danish.
Regional police commander, Shir Aziz Kamawal confirming the death toll said, “Taliban have released some passengers but are holding many others. None of the passengers were wearing military uniform but some may have been former police.” Acting Police Chief of Kunduz, Col. Masomi Safi said that the abducted passengers had been transferred to Chardara district and an operation had been launched to rescue them.
Head of the Afghanistan civil society, Saifuddin Saes claimed that the soldiers were among the dead individuals. According to local media, Taliban rebels have claimed the responsibility of the attack saying that they had precise intelligence that 26 Afghan commandoes and police were among the passengers.
The attack came at a time when Taliban rebels have announced Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada as their new chief after the death of their former chief in United States led drone strike at Pak-Afghan border. (end) sbk.bs

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