The two beheaded bodies were sent back to their families in Mughul Abad village and 16 were released. "These people are ordinary people in the village, but the kidnappers said they had a connection with the government," Saydo Jan told the Reuters.
Lashkar Gah is the capital of volatile Helmand province and the most contentious of the first seven areas to be formally handed over by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces on Wednesday, Jul 20.
The Monday violence coincided with the handover of command of U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan to U.S. Marine Corps General John Allen from General David Petraeus, Washington's new intelligence chief.
The Taliban has no clue about the kidnappings and assumes that one of the them might have been killed on the day of the kidnapping. The first half of this year have been the deadliest six months for civilians in the last decade of conflict in Afghanistan, with nearly 1,500 killed, the United Nations said in a recent report.
There were a record 11,826 security incidents in the first half of 2011, according to the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, up from 8,242 in the same period last year and more than double the first half of 2009.