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Iran Press TV

Taliban abduct several, kill seven civilians in southern Afghanistan

Iran Press TV

Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:25PM

The Taliban militants have killed at least seven abductees after kidnapping dozens of civilians in southern Afghanistan, security sources say.

The sources said the abducted civilians were killed in the militancy-riddled southern province of Kandahar.

Militants have kidnapped more than 70 civilians across the troubled region since Friday.

Afghan government forces have launched an operation to free the hostages, who remain in Taliban captivity.

In recent weeks, Taliban have intensified a campaign of kidnapping and killing civilians across various regions of the war-ravaged country.

On July 12, Afghan authorities recovered the bullet-riddled bodies of seven passengers kidnapped by militants a day earlier in the country's west.

The passengers were abducted in Farah province in an attack blamed on the Taliban militant group. Six civilians and one police officer were among those killed.

Highways in Afghanistan passing through militancy-prone areas have become exceedingly dangerous, with the Taliban and other armed groups frequently kidnapping or killing travelers.

In April, Taliban announced the start of its annual spring offensive against Afghan security forces and US-led foreign troops across the country. The militant group has stepped up offensives in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months.

Insecurity has gripped Afghanistan since 2001, when the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. Many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.

Over the past 16 years, the Taliban militants have been conducting terrorist attacks across the country, killing and displacing civilians. In addition, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, has recently managed to take recruits from Afghan Taliban defectors.

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