Kidnappers release remaining 28 de-miners
FARAH CITY (PAN): Twenty-eight of the 32 kidnapped employees of a landmine clearing organisation were released while four were killed in captivity, officials said on Monday.
On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen seized 32 employees of the Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA), a non-governmental organisation that clears landmines. They were abducted from the Bala Baluk district in the western province of Farah. The 28 freed workers, and their four dead colleagues, had all reached Farah City by 10:30 am Monday.
“The Taliban released us because of the mediation of tribal elders from Shamalgah area of Bala Baluk district. The Taliban handed us over to the elders yesterday and we reached to provincial capital today,” one of the freed de-miners, Zalmay, said.
“The abductors killed four of our colleagues, whose bodies were taken to the city on Sunday and Monday,” another released de-miner, Jabar, said.
“We were busy demining when six armed men in police uniforms drove up to us on cars and motorcycles. They told us to come together to give them information about the Taliban in the area,” a third released worker, Qadar, said.
“As our two 16-member teams gathered, they told us to get in the vehicles and abducted us,” he said.
They divided the workers into groups after reaching to Bakwa district. It later became clear that four of their colleagues had been killed, he said.
“The Taliban told me that I was freed on the condition that I take one of my colleagues’ bodies with me, and I did so,” he said. He added that they had released another of his colleagues after beating him severely.
The body of another abductee was taken by his father to Farah City, deputy provincial police chief Maj. Khalil said.
“The Taliban killed the four workers with cruelty and cut the ears of some workers,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi denied that the Taliban were involved in the abduction.
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