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Afghanistan: 7 Indian engineers abducted in Baghlan province, police suspect Taliban hand

By Deepika

Seven staff members of an Indian company have been abducted my armed men in Afghanistan's Baghlan province early on Sunday, a local news agency has reported.

Image for representation only

The Taliban terrorists abducted the Indians, working for Maharashtra-based company KEC, and their Afghan driver early this morning in Bagh-e-Shamal area of the provincial capital Pul-e-Khomre, TOLOnews reported, citing officials.

They were abducted while travelling to the area, where the company, KEC, owns an electricity sub-station contract.

The group was travelling in a largely Taliban-controlled area when the eight people were abducted from their vehicle, Baghlan police spokesperson Zabihullah Shuja said.However, no group has claimed responsibility for the abduction so far.

According to Reuters, Zabihullah Shuja, spokesman for Baghlan police, said the engineers were travelling to a government-run power station in a minibus when unknown gunmen abducted them and their Afghan driver.

Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi also is in touch with the Indian mission in Kabul and is trying to ascertain details.

In response to queries on reports of abduction of Indian nationals in Afghanistan, MEA Spokesperson said, "we are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan. We are in contact with Afghan authorities & further details are being ascertained"

Baghlan governor Abdulhai Nemati confirmed that the Taliban group has abducted seven employees of KEC, adding that they are trying to release the abductees through tribe elders and mediation, the report added.

Meanwhile, Harsh Goenka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KEC International tweeted about 7 Indians being kidnapped in Afghanistan and requests EAM for assistance.

KEC, a global infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction major, is one of the largest Indian companies in Afghanistan.

In 2016, an Indian aid worker was kidnapped in Kabul. She was released after 40 days.

The Indian government regularly issues a security alert for Indians residing in Afghanistan and travelling to the war-torn country.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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