All passengers kidnapped in Greshk district set free
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Local security officials on Wednesday said the Taliban had released all passengers they had kidnapped in the Greshk district of southern Helmand province.
The insurgents hijacked a bus carrying 43 passengers and two trucks in the restive district on Tuesday morning.However, they freed 38 hostages yesterday, keeping five others in their captivity.
Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Aqa Noor Kintoz, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had also released the remaining five captives.“We helped release the five passengers through tribal elders’ mediation.”
The Taliban kept the five men only for having Kabul Bank cards,the police chief explained, blaming the authorities for showing negligence in maintaining highway security.
“The Taliban in Afghan National Army (ANA) uniforms were riding a pick-up and a tank; they stopped passengers on the highway and took them hostage, but nearby security posts took no action,” Kintoz claimed.
Lt. Col. Mohammad Rassoul Zazai, spokesman for the 215th Maiwand Military Corps, also said the militants in military uniforms had kidnapped the passengers.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said the the militants had seized suspected passengers from the three vehicles. He said investigation would be over soon and those found innocent would be freed.
The Taliban have recently stepped up mass kidnappings of passengers on highways. Hundreds of travellers faced similar situations in Kunduz and Takhar provinces in recent days.