Top UN diplomat calls for immediate end to civilian abductions
KABUL (Pajhwok): The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has voiced its deep concern over the spate of abductions, hostage-taking and summary executions carried out in recent days against passengers travelling in civilian vehicles.
“Taking civilians hostage is indefensible,” said UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom. “I call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians detained and a halt to this horrible practice.”
According to a statement from the UN mission, the Taliban executed at least 10 men from a group of nearly 200 individuals, women, and children that they forcibly removed from three buses on May 30 in the Aliabad district of Kunduz province.
Many passengers were mistreated by the assailants in order for them to identify those with connections to the government or security forces. In addition to 10 men who were subsequently murdered, the fate of a further 10 passengers remains unknown.
Separately, armed attackers abducted 25 civilian men and women who were travelling in two vehicles in the Balkhab district of the northern province of Sar-i-Pul. All passengers were from the Hazara community.
While four women and one elderly man were subsequently released, the fate of the 20 others remains unknown.
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