KABUL: Islamic State or ISIS militants have abducted 20 civilians from a highway linking the Afghan capital to the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, reports said on Saturday.
The kidnapping took place on Saturday, with Afghan officials saying that the victims, all belonging to Shia community, had been taken away from the bus they were travelling in at gunpoint.
The abduction has sent shockwaves throughout the whole Hazara community, from which the victims belong. Officials have also launched a massive operation to locate and release the hostages.
Earlier in the month, the bodies of seven members four men, two women, and a child belonging to the Shia community from the same ethnic group, were found partially beheaded in the southeastern Afghan province of Zabul, sparking outrage across the country.
ISIS militants are suspected to have killed the seven, who had been kidnapped in the neighboring Ghazni Province nearly six months earlier.
The deaths prompted a massive to march on the presidential palace in Kabul on November 11 protesting insecurity throughout the country.
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