Mazar-I-Sharif: Police in northern Afghanistan have surrounded the area where they think five Bangladeshi hostages are being held and are trying to free them, officers said on Tuesday.
One Bangladeshi engineer was killed and seven workers
taken hostage Friday when gunmen stormed a remote
road-building camp run by a South Korean construction firm
between the northern Afghan provinces of Balkh and Samangan.
Two of the workers were later freed, officials in
Dhaka announced yesterday, but the fate of the others is still
"We have deployed police forces in several areas,
including areas in Chahar Bolak, Sholgara and Kishindih
districts where we suspect armed opposition groups hold the
five Bangladeshi hostages," said Balkh`s deputy police chief,
General Abdul Rauof Taj.
"We are attempting to secure their safe release
through negotiations with local people and elders.
"If our peaceful measures fail, we might conduct an
operation, but our priority is to secure their release through
Other police officials blamed the Taliban for the
incident, although the insurgent group has denied this.
Criminal groups and insurgents have kidnapped several
dozen foreigners in Afghanistan since the Taliban regime in
Kabul was ousted in 2001. Most are released unharmed.