Afghan police: Taliban kidnap 200 travelers, keep 20 hostage

paton walsh who are the taliban orig_00005127
paton walsh who are the taliban orig_00005127

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Story highlights

  • Dozens of travelers kidnapped en route from Afghan capital Kabul to Kunduz, police say
  • Several killed; many released -- but around 20 remain captive

(CNN)Nearly 200 people were kidnapped by Taliban fighters in the northeastern province of Kunduz in Afghanistan early Tuesday morning, according to a police spokesman.

The majority have since been released, but around 20 hostages remain.
    The victims were traveling on two buses to the provincial capital of Kunduz, when the Taliban stopped their vehicles on the highway in Ali Abad district at around 3:30 a.m. local time (7 p.m. Monday ET), police spokesman Hujratullah Akbari tells CNN.
    Who are the Taliban in 2016?
    paton walsh who are the taliban orig_00005127

      JUST WATCHED

      Who are the Taliban in 2016?

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    Who are the Taliban in 2016? 01:35
    Six of the passengers were killed on the spot by the Taliban, Akbari said. About 185 others, including women, children and senior citizens, were then taken to a remote village called Omarkhil in the provincial district of Chardara.
    The Taliban killed several of the abductees after arriving in the village, Akbari said. It's not clear how or why the majority of the hostages were able to go free.
    Police are working with community and religious leaders to investigate the situation and to secure the release of the 20 or so remaining hostages.
    Though identified by police for the attack and kidnapping, the Taliban has not issued a claim of responsibility.

    New leader: No to peace talks

    Afghan Taliban announces new leader
    Afghan Taliban announces new leader

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    Under the new leadership of Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban has vowed that there will be no peace talks with the Afghan government.
    The newly appointed leader of the terror group was elevated to the position after a U.S. drone strike killed Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour, and a CNN source suggested that under Akhunddzada, the group will follow the militant policies espoused by founder Mullah Omar, who was killed in Pakistan in 2013.
    As the new leader was announced last week, the group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in the capital that killed 10 people and injured four others, including two children.