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Dozens Of Shi'ite Muslims Abducted In Afghanistan

File photo of a Hazara demonstration in Kabul.

Afghan officials say unidentified gunmen have abducted 30 Shi’ite Muslims who were travelling by bus in Zabul province.

The men, members of the minority Hazara ethnic group, were abducted on February 23 on the road between the southern city of Kandahar and the capital, Kabul.

Nasir Ahmad, an official with the Ghazni Paima bus company, told AFP news agency that the bus driver "saw a group of masked men in Afghan army uniform signalling him and he thought they were soldiers so he stopped."

Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the police were "doing everything" to ensure the group's safe release.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the abduction.

Members of the Shi’ite Hazara community are often the target of sectarian violence by Sunni Muslim extremists in Afghanistan.

Kidnappings for ransom are also common in the country.

Based on reporting AFP and Khaama Press

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