Ghazni rally wants hostages freed unharmed
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): A large number of people on Saturday once again rallied in southern Ghazni province to ask the government to take effective steps for safe release of the 31 kidnapped passengers in neighboring Zabul province.
Hussein Ali, one of the protesters, told Pajhwok Afghan News the government needed to do more to ensure that the passengers were rescued unharmed. “Why the government has been unable to find the whereabouts of the hostages,” asked Ali.
Gunmen, believed to be members of the self-proclaimed Daesh group, kidnapped the passengers more than 30 days back in Zabul’s Shahjoy district on the Herat-Kabul highway.
No group, including the Taliban, has so far asserted responsibility for the abduction that has turned into a serious issue for the people and the government.
Ali Reza, another protester, urged the government not to spare any effort at securing the release of the hostages. “Sometimes Taliban kill us and sometimes Daesh. But the people of Ghazni are united.”
Days after the abduction, a major operation to rescue the men was carried out in Arghandab and Khak-i-Afghan districts of Zabul province.
Many insurgents, including foreign fighters, were killed during the rescue mission, but no clue to the whereabouts of the hostages could be ascertained.
A 25-member delegation of tribal elders from Ghazni travelled between Zabul and Pakistani city of Quetta for talks with Taliban leaders to get the hostages freed, but their efforts failed to bear fruits.
Some officials and residents in Ghazni had said the kidnappers had shifted some of the hostages to Nawa, Gilan and Ab Band districts from Zabul, but their claim could not be verified.
On Friday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah said all possible steps would be taken to ensure safe release of the abducted passengers.
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