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Ghazni hostages freed after deal with Taliban

Ghazni hostages freed after deal with Taliban

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Mar 17, 2018 - 19:53

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Two men kidnapped from Shirabad area of Qarabagh district in southern Ghazni province about two weeks ago have been released, sources said on Saturday.

A fortnight ago, gunmen attacked a house in Shirabad area and killed two persons, including a child, injured two womeninfo-icon and took away two men with them.

In reaction, thousands of residents of the area blocked the Kabulinfo-icon-Kandahar highway for four days against traffic in Ghazni City, the provincial capital.

The protestors blamed the attack on residents of Nekhtai area, but the Nekhtai residents said their eight men had been kidnapped by the Talibaninfo-icon and should be released.

Zwand civil societyinfo-icon organization head Naqibullah Khaksar, who is supporter of Shirabad area people, said Nekhtai residents set free the two captives from Shirabad area after the Taliban released their eight people.

“The captives are exchanged but what about those killed and wounded,” asked Khaksar.

A resident of Nekhtai area, Ali Hussain, confirmed their eight kidnapped people had been freed. “We and they brought the hostages to the provincial capital and were exchanged. The captives are now home.”

The Shirabad residents were freed as a result of mediation of tribal elders, said Mohammad Arif Noori, the governor’s spokesman.

He said it was not known why the Taliban released the captives from Nekhtai area, but the Shirabad residents had been released through tribal elders’ mediation.

A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the fighters had seized Nekhtai residents a few months back after they defied a Taliban ruling.

“No exchange has taken place, we released the captives as per demand of Nekhtai people because they promised to resolve the issue with Shirabad people.”

Over the past many years, the residents of Nekhtai and Shirabad areas have been locked in a dispute over irrigation water and the tension sometimes leads to bloody incidents.

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