Afghan workers kidnapped by millitants
Taliban millitants are reported to have kidnapped around 155 Afghan labourers.
The militants stopped the buses in the Bala Baluk district of the western province of Farah on Sunday, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary.
The laborers had been constructing a military base for the Afghan army in Farah city, the provincial capital, said Gov. Younis Rasouli. He said 156 Afghans had been kidnapped, while Bashary said 155 were taken.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. Bashary said he knew of no demands from the kidnappers.
"What demand might they have from the government? They are poor and innocent laborers who are traveling far distances for work," Bashary said.
Kidnappings of Afghans for ransom are routine in Afghanistan, and in July 2007 Taliban fighters kidnapped 23 South Koreans, killing two and releasing the rest. But the kidnapping of 155 people is the first time militants have attempted to abduct and hold such a large group.
In other violence, a roadside bomb ripped through a civilian vehicle in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing six Afghans and wounding four others, the NATO-led force said.
The military alliance said the blast occurred in Tirin Kot, the capital of the southern Uruzgan province. It said a child was among those killed.
Juman Gul Himat, the police chief in Uruzgan, blamed Taliban militants for the attack.
Militants regularly attack Afghan and foreign troops with roadside bombs and suicide strikes, but hundreds of Afghan civilians have been killed.
Meanwhile, in southwestern Nimroz province Taliban militants attacked a police checkpoint Sunday, sparking a clash in which nine militants were killed and three police were wounded, said provincial Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad.
More than 4,500 people – mostly militants – have died in insurgency-related attacks this year.
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