Taliban free aspiring Afghan policemen

Forty Afghan would-be policemen were kidnapped by the Taliban last month.

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2011, 13:54 PM IST

Asadabad: Forty Afghan would-be policemen who were kidnapped by the Taliban last month were freed unharmed on Friday, officials said.

The men were abducted in the troubled eastern province of Kunar, which borders Pakistan, while travelling back from neighbouring Nuristan, where they had unsuccessfully sought work with the Afghan Local Police (ALP).

The ALP is a government initiative strongly backed by the West which creates community police forces separate from the uniformed police to guard villages against insurgents in remote parts of rural Afghanistan.

"The 40 cops who were kidnapped before have been freed," Jamaluddin Badr, the provincial governor of Nuristan, said.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, added: "Our eastern shura (local council) agreed to free them after assurances by local elders that they will not work for the police."

The Taliban frequently targets Afghans who work for the country`s security forces.

In the latest attack on Thursday, three policemen were killed when three suicide bombers attacked a police training centre in the eastern province of Paktia.

Bureau Report