'Mistaken' for government officials, seven Indians abducted in Afghanistan

Pakistan       by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the abduction and no ransom has been sought, reports added.

Seven Indians, working for RPG Group company KEC International in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province, were abducted by Taliban gunmen on Sunday. Worshippers had finished afternoon prayers at the mosque, which was also being used as a voter registration center for upcoming parliamentary elections.

A blast at a voter registration center in Afghanistan's restive east on Sunday killed at least 13 people and wounded 33, a health official said, capping a bloody week in the war-torn country. Confirming the abduction, an MEA spokesperson said, "We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan".

According to reports, security officials in Afghanistan are now working with local tribal elders as rescue operation is underway to trace the seven engineers abducted by the suspected Taliban gunmen.

"A crowd of people who had come out of the mosque had gathered to register" when the blast took place, he said, putting the casualty toll at "about 30". The Islamic State is not known to have a presence in Khost, but it has expanded its footprint into other areas in recent years.

Last month, an IS suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others.

In the eastern Paktia province, a auto bomb killed two people and wounded another three.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Al Jazeera that the group was not involved in the attack.

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