Protestors want kidnapped passengers freed
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Residents on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration in southern Ghazni province against the abduction of 31 bus passengers, asking the government to take serious steps for their safe release.
The passengers were snatched from two buses on the road between southern Kandahar province and Kabul in the Shahjoy district of southern Zabul province on Feb. 23.
The men were returning from Iran when masked gunmen, believed to be members of the so-called Islamic State group, kidnapped them at gunpoint.
Officials and residents of Ghazni had confirmed some of the hostages had been moved to the province from Zabul.
One of the protestors, Ali Riza, told Pajhwok Afghan News the government should intensify its efforts at securing the release of the abducted men.
“They have no opposition with anyone. The abducted men are innocent and should be freed,” Riza said.
The demonstrators, who gathered in front of the Governor’s House in Ghazni City, issued a resolution that called the kidnapping of innocent people as un-Islamic. It asked the government to take serious steps for the safe release of the hostages.
Days after the abduction, Afghan security forces launched a rescue operation on March 2, but the forces had been unable so far to locate the whereabouts of the hostages.
Ghazni officials said the hostages had been divided into five groups and some of them had been brought to Nawa, Gilan and Ab Band districts the province from Zabul.
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