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Monday, 20 August 2018 - 17:48
Taliban kidnaps 150 bus passengers
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About 150 people are reported to have been kidnapped after Taliban militants launched an ambush on three buses in northern Afghanistan.
 
A Taliban spokesman said they were targeting security forces travelling on the buses, adding the civilians would be released.
 
It comes a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered a conditional three-month ceasefire to the Taliban.
 
The offer was rejected by the militant group's leader today.
 
The attack saw the bus passengers taken to "an undisclosed location" after being forced from the vehicles, according to Esmatullah Muradi, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor.
 
The buses were travelling along a highway in an area under Taliban control, en route to the capital Kabul.
 
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Reuters they attacked the bus after "intelligence inputs revealed that many men working with Afghan security forces" were on board.
 
"We have taken the buses to a safe area to prevent any clashes and we are now identifying members of the security forces," he added, saying civilians would be released.
 
According to provincial officials, however, the majority of the passengers have already been released, with just 21 still in the militants' hands.
 
The Taliban have launched several attacks in recent weeks.

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