Seven deminers beheaded in Afghanistan
Last Updated: Sunday, July 10, 2011, 15:49
Herat (Afghanistan): Seven deminers kidnapped in western Afghanistan have been beheaded by their abductors, police said today, as NATO announced the deaths of three soldiers in Taliban attacks.

The seven were part of a group of 28 deminers who were snatched on Wednesday in a district that is the focus of the Taliban insurgency in Farah province, but no one has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping.

"Seven of the deminers are beheaded. We have recovered the body of one of them and the rest of the bodies are with tribal elders," said Mohammad Ghaws Malyar, the Farah provincial deputy police chief.

He said the fate of the other deminers who were taken in the Bala Buluk district was unknown.

Criminal groups and insurgents have repeatedly kidnapped dozens of Afghans and foreigners since a 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime, but most are eventually freed for ransom or in exchange for the release of prisoners.

The deminers were working for the Demining Agency for Afghanistan, an Afghan charity based in the southern province of Kandahar.

In a similar incident in December, 18 Afghans working for the Mine Detection Center were kidnapped in the eastern province of Khost, which borders Pakistan, and were freed unharmed a day later in a joint Afghan-foreign operation.

Also today, three NATO soldiers and three policemen were killed in bomb and insurgent attacks in the restive south and east, as the top US commander in the country said the overall number of insurgent attacks had decreased this summer.

NATO said one coalition soldier died following an insurgent attack and another was killed in a bomb explosion in the south, while a third service member died after another insurgent attack in the east.


First Published: Sunday, July 10, 2011, 15:49

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