Earlier this week Taliban gunmen stopped several buses at a checkpoint in Ali Abad, Kunduz, and abducted nearly 200 people. Six people were killed near the checkpoint, while the remainder were taken to a village in the neighbouring district. Around 160 people escaped or were freed and some more were killed, while twenty remain as hostages.

It was reported that those killed may have been targeted for being government employees and that the Taliban were ‘scrutinising’ ID for any indication of government links. If you are travelling in an area with high levels of violence or crime and you are a possible target, please take steps to protect yourself.

From Reuters

Afghan Taliban kill nine, kidnap 20 bus passengers, army rescues 140 others

The police in Kunduz did not confirm if security forces were among the kidnapped or killed, but Sher Aziz Kamawal, a senior police official, said those killed may have been government employees who were carrying identity cards.

A campaign of kidnappings against Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic minority has become a source of tension, fueling concern about sectarian violence. The Hazara are Shi’ite Muslims who are considered heretics by the hardline Sunni Taliban movement.

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From CNN

Taliban kill 16 bus passengers in northern Afghanistan

Residents of insurgency-prone Aliabad told AFP the Taliban were holding an informal court in a local mosque, scrutinising the ID documents of the abducted passengers and interrogating them for any government links.

“We had precise intelligence that 26 Afghan commandoes and police were among the passengers,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP, adding that six of them were killed while trying to escape.

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