Afghan police: Taliban kidnap 200 travelers, keep 20 hostage

Nearly 200 people were kidnapped by Taliban fighters in the northeastern province of Kunduz in Afghanistan early Tuesday morning, according to a police spokesman.

The majority have since been released, but around 20 hostages remain.

The victims were traveling on two buses to the provincial capital of Kunduz, when the Taliban stopped their vehicles on the highway in Ali Abad district at around 3:30 a.m. local time (7 p.m. Monday ET), police spokesman Hujratullah Akbari tells CNN.

Six of the passengers were killed on the spot by the Taliban, Akbari said. About 185 others, including women, children and senior citizens, were then taken to a remote village called Omarkhil in the provincial district of Chardara.

The Taliban killed several of the abductees after arriving in the village, Akbari said. It’s not clear how or why the majority of the hostages were able to go free.

Police are working with community and religious leaders to investigate the situation and to secure the release of the 20 or so remaining hostages.

Though identified by police for the attack and kidnapping, the Taliban has not issued a claim of responsibility.

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