UNAMA concerned by civilian abductions and hostage-taking
KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is deeply concerned by the spate of abductions, hostage-taking and summary executions carried out in recent days against passengers travelling in civilian vehicles.
Armed Taliban personnel executed at least 10 men from a group of nearly 200 men, women, and children that they forcibly removed from three civilian buses on 30 May in the Ali Abad district of Kunduz province. Many passengers were mistreated by the assailants in order for them to identify those with connections to the Government or security forces. In addition to 10 men who were subsequently murdered, the fate of a further 10 passengers remains unknown.
In a separate incident on 1 June, armed attackers abducted 25 civilian men and women who were travelling in two vehicles in the Balkh Ab district of the northern province of Saripul. All passengers were reported to be from the Hazara community. While four women and one elderly man were subsequently released, the fate of the 20 others remains unknown.
“Taking civilians hostage is indefensible,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA. “I call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians detained and a halt to this horrible practice.”