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Thirteen Men Pulled From Vehicles, Shot Dead By Gunmen In Afghanistan

File photo of the aftermath of a militant attack in Balkh province in April.

Afghan officials say unknown gunmen have dragged 13 male passengers out of two vehicles and shot them dead in northern Balkh Province.

"The gunmen, who wore national security forces uniforms, stopped the vehicles heading from Zari district to Kishin Deh district," the Zari district governor, Jafar Haidari, said on September 5.

Haidari said the attackers "did not bother" the only female passenger, who later "came back safely" to Zari.

According to Haidari the passengers belonged to the Shi'ite Hazara minority.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the September 5 attack in Balkh, a relatively peaceful province.

The Hazara ethnic group makes up about 22 percent of Afghanistan's mostly Sunni Muslim population.

Based on reporting by dpa and