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Protest staged in Kabul against delay in rescuing captive troops

Protest staged in Kabul against delay in rescuing captive troops

Feb 24, 2016 - 16:47

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Relatives of kidnapped Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers staged a protest on Wednesday, demanding their immediate release and warning of self-immolation if their demands were not met.

Three months earlier, the Talibaninfo-icon took 12 soldiers hostage after their helicopter made an emergency landing in the Ghar Tapa locality of the Pashtunkot district of Faryab province. The pilot and six security officials were killed on the spot.

A dozen soldiers are still in Taliban’s captivity and there been no clue so far to the location where they are being held. The soldiers’ continued captivity has been fuelling concerns among their families.

About 100 relatives of the missing soldiers gathered in the Shahr-i-Naw Park on Wednesday afternoon, chanting against what they called the government’s failure to secure the release their love ones.

Taj Mohammad, a resident of eastern Kunar province, said: “My son Zar Mohammad is among the missing soldiers. I don’t have any information about his fate so far.”

Jamshed Habibi, former provincial councilheadwhose relative is also among the captives, blamed the government’s unconcern for the soldiers in Taliban’s captivity.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) insisted it had been striving to pave the way for their release. Brig. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, MoD’s deputy spokesman, said it was the ministry’s responsibility to make possible the release of the soldiers.

He added the ministry did not want a single soldier to be in insurgents’ captivity. In the past, he recalled, the some soldiers held by the Taliban had been freed as a result of MoDefforts.

The Taliban said the captive soldiers were being kept in safe place. So far, the insurgent group has not presented any condition for the release of the soldiers.



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