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Kidnapped deminers found beheaded in Farah province

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Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Seven deminers kidnapped in western Afghanistan have been beheaded by their abductors. The seven were part of a group of 28 deminers who were snatched on Wednesday in a district that is the focus of the Taliban insurgency in Farah Province. No one has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping.

 


Mohammad Ghaws Malyar, the Farah provincial deputy police chief, said the body of one had been recovered while the other bodies are with tribal elders.

He added that the fate of the other deminers who were taken in the Bala Buluk district was unknown.

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

Criminal groups and insurgents have repeatedly kidnapped dozens of Afghans and foreigners since a 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime, but most are eventually freed for ransom or in exchange for the release of prisoners.

The seven deminers were working for the Demining Agency for Afghanistan, an
Afghan charity based in the southern province of Kandahar.

In a similar incident in December, 18 Afghans working for the Mine Detection Center were kidnapped in the eastern province of Khost, which borders Pakistan, and were freed unharmed a day later in a joint Afghan-foreign operation.

The news of the deaths come as three Nato soldiers and three policemen were killed in bomb and insurgent attacks in the restive south and east on Sunday.

Nato said one coalition soldier died following an insurgent attack and another was killed in a bomb explosion in the south, while a third service member died after another insurgent attack in the east.

In southern Kandahar city, three Afghan policemen were killed, while three policemen and three civilians were wounded, in a roadside bomb blast that ripped through a police vehicle.

Sunday's incidents brought the overall death toll for foreign forces to 293 this year in Afghanistan, according to a tally based on that collated by the independent website iCasualties.org.