Millennium Post

26 insurgents killed in rescue operation of kidnapped Shias

At least 26 insurgents were killed in an operation by Afghan security forces to rescue 30 Shia community members who were kidnapped in southern Afghanistan, a government official told Efe news agency on Tuesday.

Afghanistan’s army and the police launched the operation late Monday in Jak-i-Afghan district, in the southern province of Zabul, to rescue the hostages who are from the ethnic Hazara minority, said provincial governor’s spokesperson Gul Islam Syal.

The operation was still underway, the official said.

“We can confirm that until now 26 insurgents have died and the operation still continues,” said Syal, adding there are foreigners among the dead. The military operation was launched after negotiations between local leaders and the insurgents to free the captives did not bear fruit, the spokesperson added. The entire region where the insurgents have held the Shias has been surrounded by the security forces, he said.

On February 23, unidentified armed men kidnapped passengers from two buses, plying between Kandahar and Kabul, while they were passing through Zabul province.

In Afghanistan, with a predominantly Sunni population, Shias account for less than 20 percent of the total and belong mainly to the Hazara community.


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