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    Kidnappers’ gang busted, captives rescued

    PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): A kidnappers’ gang was busted by intelligence operatives during a week-long operation in central Logar province, an official said on Wednesday. 

    A man was released after being kept for 27 days in captivity and the group members were arrested in five raids, provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) spokesman Syed Hakim told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Mohammadullah, the man rescued, said he had been abducted in the Baboos area 27 days ago and his kidnappers had sought $1.5 million in ransom.

    The NDS office identified the men rescued as Shah Lala, Aurang, Matiullah, Nabi, Roohullah and Farooq -- all residents of Logar.

    Five Kalashnikovs, a pistol with 30 bullets, three guns, a rocket launcher, 15 hand grenades, four military uniforms, 24 magazines of AK-47 rifles, two motorbikes, a car and 12 kilograms of hashish were recovered from the detainees. 

    Separately, two Afghan soldiers were killed and a third injured when a landmine they were defusing went off in the Daulat Shah district of eastern Laghman province, the town’s administrative head said. Naseer Ahmad said the incident took place in the Zarkamar area.

    Elsewhere in the district, a six-member rebel group, led by Maulvi Abdur Razzaq, joined the reconciliation programme, Governor Mohammad Iqbal Aziz said. The individuals turned in six Kalashnikovs to security forces.

    The group leader, Abdur Razzaq, said: “We have been with the Taliban movement over the past decade. But now we have renounced the insurgency, realising it is not the right way.”