Taliban 'kidnaps 50 Afghan police recruits'

The Taliban claimed yesterday that it had kidnapped 50 Afghan policemen in north-eastern Afghanistan – part of its murder and intimidation campaign against anyone affiliated with the US-backed government.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in an emailed statement to reporters that militants ambushed the policemen on Saturday afternoon after being tipped off that they would be travelling in Kunar province.

The policemen from Nuristan province had just finished their training to join the Afghan National Police, he said.

The Kunar provincial police chief, Khalilullah Ziayi, confirmed that militants stopped four vehicles in Chapa Dara district and captured several dozen men. He did not know the exact number and said it was unclear whether all were members of the police or prospective recruits.

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