Afghan Taliban kidnap dozens of bus passengers near Kunduz

Kabul,(UNI):  More than 100 people are reported to have been kidnapped after Taliban militants launched an ambush on three buses in northern Afghanistan, a BBC News report said on Monday.

Security forces sent to the area near Kunduz are said to be involved in fierce clashes with the militants.

It comes a day after the government offered a conditional ceasefire.

President Ashraf Ghani said it would come into effect on Monday if the Taliban accepted, but the militants have not responded yet.

Esmatullah Muradi, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor, told Reuters news agency the bus passengers were taken to “an undisclosed location” after being forced from the buses on Monday morning.

Mr Muradi told the BBC the area was under Taliban control.

There are conflicting reports of how many people have been taken. Afghanistan’s Tolo News said the number could be as high as 170.

Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, Kunduz’s provincial council head, told news agency AP he believed the militants were searching for government or security force employees.

The Taliban have launched several attacks in recent weeks.

The largest was the assault on the city of Ghazni, east of Kabul, which sparked a five-day battle with government forces that left hundreds dead or wounded. The UN has warned that up to 150 civilians may have been killed.

However, the Taliban have yet to comment on this most recent incident.

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