Afghan official: 11 de-miners kidnapped


April 2, 2016 1:30PM (UTC)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An official says gunmen have kidnapped 11 land mine clearers in western Afghanistan.

Rauf Ahmadi, the spokesman for the police chief of the western Herat province, said Saturday that a military operation has been launched in the area, with six suspects detained. He says tribal elders had earlier tried negotiating the de-miners' release.

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He says all 11 were Afghans employed by the HALO Trust mine clearing organization. They were abducted Friday.

Abduction for ransom is widespread in lawless Afghanistan, and de-miners are soft targets as they usually work in remote regions.

After almost 40 years of war, Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world.


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