Indian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province

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Afghan soldiers patrol Dand-e-Ghori district in Baghlan province in 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Afghan security forces struggle to control parts of Baghlan province

Seven Indian engineers have been kidnapped in Afghanistan along with their Afghan driver, police say.

Gunmen grabbed them from a vehicle on the outskirts of the Baghlan provincial capital, Pul-e Khomri, on Sunday.

No group has said it carried out the kidnapping. However, provincial governor Abdul Hai Nemati told Tolo TV that the Taliban was responsible.

Kidnappings are a serious problem in Afghanistan where large areas are blighted by gangs or militant groups.

Provincial council chairman Mohammad Safdar Mohseni said the group had ignored warnings to take a police escort through an area largely controlled by the Taliban.

Indian officials in Kabul said the engineers worked for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat company that operates a power station in northern Baghlan.

“We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained,” a spokesman for Indian external affairs said.

In 2011, 12 Iranian and Afghan engineers were kidnapped while working on a road project in western Afghanistan.

They were released after local tribal elders acted as mediators with Taliban insurgents.

Last year, a Finnish woman working for a Swedish aid group was kidnapped from a Kabul guesthouse and released some months later.

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