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Six Indians abducted in Afghanistan, Taliban blamed

Kabul, May 6: Militants abducted seven people, including six Indians, on Sunday in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, officials said, adding that talks were on to get them freed. The kidnapping took place in Bagh-e-Shamal village, TOLONews reported. Baghlan Governor Abdulhai Nemati said that those abducted worked for an Indian company KEC. The seventh person who was seized was an Afghan. Nemati said the Taliban had done the kidnapping and moved the group to the Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of Pul-e-Khumri city. He said they contacted the Taliban, whose representatives said the abduction took place because the insurgents thought that the seven were Afghan government employees. Nemati said they were trying to rescue the victims with the help of tribal elders. According to local officials, the incident occurred while the employees were travelling to the area where the company has a contract for an electricity sub-station. Kidnapping of locals for extortion is common in Afghanistan. Most of those abducted have been Afghans but foreign workers have also become targets. In 2016, Indian aid worker Judith D’Souza was kidnapped in Kabul. She was released after 40 days. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita