Alwaght- ISIS-affiliated Takfiri in Afghanistan have kidnapped 20 Shiite Muslims from the Hazara community in the volatile southern province of Zabul at the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
The kidnapping took place on Saturday, with Afghan officials saying that the victims had been taken away from the bus they were travelling in at gunpoint. Ghulam Jalani Farahi, deputy provincial police chief, said on Saturday it is not yet known if the abductees are men or women.
The abduction has sent shockwaves throughout the whole Hazara community. Officials have also launched a massive operation to locate and release the hostages.
Early this month seven Hazara Shiites were found beheaded in Zabul after being abducted for a period of six months in the neighboring Ghazni province.
The killings sparked demonstrations nationwide, including in Kabul, where thousands of people demanded the government improve security across the country.
Taliban militants are suspected to have killed the seven, who had been kidnapped in the neighboring Ghazni Province nearly six months earlier.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan strongly condemned the beheading of the Shiite Muslims who included four men, two women and a child.
A statement released by the Presidential Palace in Kabul noted that, “the beheading of civilians especially women and a child in Khak-e-Afghan district of Zabul province is an atrocious act and a sign of desperation and defeat of the enemies of the people of Afghanistan.”
The recent spate of kidnappings in Afghanistan recalls the bloody days of murders of Hazaras under both the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist groups. This includes the 1998 massacre of 2,000 civilians, most of them Hazara, in the northern city of Mazar-I Sharif.