Pakistani Taliban claim kidnapping 25 boys in Kunar
Pakistani officials on Friday said up to 40 children of the ages between 10 and 18 were seized by insurgents after they crossed the Afghanistan border from Bajaur tribal region during an outing into Kunar province.
The adductors released boys below 12 years of ages, but held captives the remaining.
A spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan told the BBC that they had prior plan of adducting the children because they were from areas that have sided with Islamabad in the fight against militants. Ishanullah Ihsan added that the group's leadership will decide the fate of the boys.
He said the boys belonged to Mamond tribe, which had established a force to fight the Taliban in support of the government.
The rebel spokesman said they had 25, not 30, boys in captivity. They are 18 to 20 years old, he said.
On Friday, the governor of Kunar, Syed Fazlullah Wahidi, rejected the claim that the Afghan Taliban had kidnapped the Pakistani boys. However, he said if the report was true, they would try to release the children with the help of tribal elders.
Qari Zia Rahman, who claims to speak for Kunar Taliban, told Pajhwok Afghan News they were not involved in the kidnapping saga.
The porous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a known safe haven for al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants.
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