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Afghan Deminers Freed By Militants In Paktia Province

Afghan deminers clear landmines, shells, and rockets scattered at Jangalak, south of Kabul in 2014.

Officials say that 19 kidnapped workers on a landmine clearing project in eastern Afghanistan have been freed by Islamic militants.

Abdul Wali Sahi, the deputy governor of Paktia Province, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan on April 21 that the deminers were set free with the help of tribal elders.

He did not say which militant group had kidnapped the workers, who were abducted on April 19 in the provincial capital, Gardez, in the southern part of the province.

They were taken captive while surveying an area that was to be demined.

The kidnapping occurred one day after gunmen kidnapped and then beheaded four ethnic Hazara men in Ghazni Province, to the west of Gardez.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the killing of the Hazaras as an "inhuman and unforgivable act."

With reporting by Reuters