Eight hostages released in Afghanistan: Official

Kabul, Nov 10 (IANS) At least eight Afghan hostages were released on Tuesday eight months after they were seized by militants, the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement.

“The personnel of NDS secured the safe release of eight countrymen from kidnappers’ clutch on Tuesday from Ghazni province. The freed people, including five men, two women and a teenage, will be handed over to their families in their respective provinces,” Xinhua quoted the country’s intelligence agency, NDS, as saying.

The eight were part of 31 passengers kidnapped in Zabul province in late February, according to the statement.

Up to 19 hostages of 31 were released in early May, one victim passed way while the fate of the remaining three passengers still remained unknown.

Although no group has claimed the responsibility for the abduction, security officials did not rule out the involvement of the Taliban and militants loyal to the IS extremist outfit in the incident.

The release of the hostages came in the wake of beheading of seven civilians by suspected IS militants in Zabul province on Saturday.

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