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Militants Ambush Buses In Northern Afghanistan, Killing Many

File photo of Afghan security forces in Kunduz
File photo of Afghan security forces in Kunduz

Suspected Taliban militants have killed at least 13 people and are holding more than 30 hostage after an ambush on a highway in northern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said six buses were stopped by militants early on May 31 in the Aliabad district of Kunduz Province.

A spokesman for the governor of Kunduz Province said some 200 people were traveling in the buses and that more than 30 were taken hostage.

Death tolls given by Afghan officials ranged from 13 to 17.

An unspecified number of passengers were released.

Local Afghan officials blamed the Taliban for the attack, but the militant group has so far not commented on the incident.

According to AFP, the militants were checking documents of passengers pulled from the buses at a local mosque.

Taliban forces regularly stop passenger vehicles to search for members of the Afghan government, security forces, and international organizations, and the number of such incidents appears to be growing.

Kunduz is one of the most embattled provinces in northern Afghanistan. Kunduz city, the capital of the province, briefly fell to the Taliban last year.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa