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Taliban kidnap nine passengers in Ghazni

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AT-KABUL: Taliban militants have kidnapped at least nine passengers on gunpoint from the volatile Ghazni province, official sources said on Friday.

Spokesman to the provincial governor, Shafiq Nang, said the militants have abducted the passengers in Gaghori district on Thursday night when they were on their way to the provincial capital, Ghazni city. He said the insurgents freed a child and an elderly man and took the remaining to an unknown location.

Two days ago the Taliban militants kidnapped 12 residents of Qarabagh district. A few days ago the group killed at least four kidnapped people including an engineer.

Civilians have become a soft target for the militants. The group kidnaps and kills civilians to show its presence in the restive parts of the country and pressurize the government. It is widely believed that anti-Afghanistan forces want to weaken the unity among Afghans while kidnapping ethnic minorities.

Though, no group has claimed responsibility but it is believed that the Taliban insurgents are involved, because the militant group uses hostages as bargaining chip to free its detained fighters.

Nearly three months ago, four civilians including a child, two women and a driver were kidnapped by armed men from Gilan district of Ghazni. Their fate is still uncertain.

Ghazni is becoming a “no-go” area for visitors and residents of other provinces while dwellers of the province also fear for their lives.