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At Least Eight Hazaras Kidnapped, Four Killed In Afghanistan

A soldier keeps watch as members of the Hazara community rally to protest against the kidnapping of 31 men allegedly by the Islamic State (IS), in the central Afghan city of Ghazni in March.

Afghan authorities recovered the corpses of four men kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan last week, while at least eight others were newly abducted, officials said August 12.

The four corpses, found in Nawur district near the Pakistan border, all had been shot dead, said Asadullah Ensafi, the deputy chief police of Ghazni province. He said three of the men were Hazara, while the other was a Sunni Pashtun.

The Hazara are a largely Shi'ite ethnic minority in predominantly Sunni Afghanistan. The group has been targeted by the Taliban and other Sunni extremists in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

Ensafi said that insurgents kidnapped at least eight more Hazaras August 11 as they were driving to Ghazni city. He said authorities were investigating.

In February, 30 Hazara men were abducted in Zabul province, south of Ghazni. Nineteen were freed in May, two were killed and nine are still missing. Last month, 11 Hazaras were kidnapped in northern Baghlan province.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa