Taliban take 30 policemen hostage

2014-05-22 16:32
Members of a committee from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which was set up to hold talks with the government of Pakistan. (Aamir Qureshi, AFP)

Members of a committee from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which was set up to hold talks with the government of Pakistan. (Aamir Qureshi, AFP)

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Kabul - Taliban militants seized 30 policemen in north-eastern Afghanistan after taking control of a district, an official said on Thursday.

Police said on Wednesday that militants took control of Yomgan district of Badakhshan province in an assault on Tuesday.

"Taliban killed six policemen and took 30 others, [including] the district prison officer as hostages," Badakhshan deputy provincial governor Gul Mohammad Bedar said on Thursday.

Yomgan, around 150km from the provincial capital Faizabad, is surrounded by high mountains. It borders Nooristan province, where the rebels have an active presence.

The Taliban said they had captured the district and raised their flag in the area.

The province's police chief Fazluddin Ayyar said: "We have sent reinforcements to recapture the district."

Another 15 policemen including the district police chief were surrounded by Taliban militants in the province's district of Hazrat-e-Shuhada, Bedar said.

The Taliban have launched their spring offensive, targeting Afghan and Nato troops, government employees and those working with those it refers to as foreign invaders.

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