Kidnappings Escalate in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan â?? A campaign of kidnappings against the Hazara ethnic group intensified on Saturday as gunmen stopped a number of buses along Afghanistanâ??s main highway and separated out the Hazara passengers, officials mentioned.

By morning, between 14 and 30 Hazara passengers had been seized along a stretch of Highway 1 in Zabul Province, in the south of the nation, and taken away, 3 security officials stated, every citing a distinct quantity of kidnapped men and women.

There have been quite a few episodes this year involving Hazara motorists and bus passengers. Although some of these kidnapped have been released right after negotiations, other individuals have been killed: This month, militants affiliated with the Islamic State are believed to have beheaded seven Hazara captives, amongst them a 9-year-old girl.

The governmentâ??s powerlessness to stop kidnappings along the countryâ??s principal highway â?? or to return the captives to safety â?? presents a developing political crisis to the presidency of Ashraf Ghani, just over a year old. Following the seven captives have been killed this month, thousands of mainly Hazara protesters carried the coffins to the presidential palace, in what was