Afghanistan police say trying to free Bangladesh captives
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 22:21
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 unclear.

"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 peaceful measures."

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.


First Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 22:21

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