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article imageTaliban kidnap 11 foreign nationals

By Stephen Morgan     Apr 23, 2013 in World
Officials say 11 foreign nationals, thought to be Turks, Russians and one from Kyrgyzstan have been captured by the Taliban, when their helicopter was forced to land due to bad weather on Sunday.
Commenting on the disappearance, Afghan and coalition spokespeople say that all those on board were civilians, but a Taliban spokesman asserted that they were working for US and NATO forces. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Taliban representative accused Western forces of “disassociating themselves from the helicopter” to make it “seem as the detainees are civilians,” but that, in fact, all were “wearing American military uniforms."
The Independent describes the helicopter as a civilian aircraft. Coalition forces said they were trying to recover it, but the Taliban sent an email saying that it had been destroyed. "Mujahideen” they claimed, “immediately surrounded the chopper, detained (the) foreigners aboard and completely destroyed the helicopter ... by setting it alight,"
The chopper landed in the remote, lawless area of Azra controlled by the Taliban. The New York Times quotes the Logar provincial council chairman as saying, “The incoming and outgoing roads from the district to surrounding provinces are entirely under Taliban control” and “No government people can travel on those roads.” It is feared that the hostages will be moved to even more secure areas inside Pakistan, where various terrorist groups are encamped.
The NYT thinks it is likely the hostages will be used as bargaining chips in peace talks with the US or for a huge ransom and the release of some of the 3,000 Taliban prisoners in the Bagram jail in Afghanistan.
More about Taliban, Afghanistan, Kidnapping, Foreign, Nationals
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