After Call for Ceasefire, Taliban Seize 100 Hostages

Women, children taken from buses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2018 1:36 AM CDT
Taliban fighters gather with residents to celebrate a three-day ceasefire in Nangarhar province earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)
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(Newser) – The Taliban ambushed a convoy of buses Monday on a road in northern Afghanistan and took more than 100 people hostage, including women and children, in the latest brazen assault by insurgents, provincial officials say. The ambush came despite Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's announcement of a conditional ceasefire with the Taliban during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha this week. The fate of the abducted in Kunduz province—in an area that has recently fallen under Taliban control—was not immediately known and there was no statement from the insurgents, the AP reports.

The Taliban have resurged in recent years, seizing entire districts across Afghanistan and regularly carrying out large-scale bombings and other attacks. According to Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of the provincial council in Kunduz, the insurgents stopped three buses on the road near Khan Abad district and forced the passengers to come with them. Ayubi said he believes the Taliban were looking for government employees or members of security forces who usually go home for the holidays. In his call on Sunday for the truce, Ghani said "the ceasefire should be observed from both sides, and its continuation and duration also depend on the Taliban's stand."

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