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Seven Indian Engineers, Afghan Driver Kidnapped In Baghlan Province

FILE: India has invested in major infrastructure projects such as this dam in the western province of Herat.

Seven Indian engineers and an Afghan national have been kidnapped in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan Province, officials said on May 6.

Zabihullah Shuja, a spokesman for the Baghlan police, said the engineers were traveling to a government-run power station in a minibus when unknown gunmen abducted them and their Afghan driver.

The engineers worked for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) that operates power-generating stations.

Baghlan’s Governor Abdul Hai Niamati told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that efforts are under way to release them.

It is not known who is responsible for the kidnapping. Niamati blamed armed groups opposed to the Afghan government.

The kidnapping of locals for purposes of extortion is common in Afghanistan amid rampant poverty and rising unemployment.

In 2016, an Indian aid worker was kidnapped in Kabul. She was released after 40 days.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan, Reuters, and dpa