Suspected Taliban gunmen in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan has abducted seven Indian engineers on Sunday. All these are employees of an Indian company and they worked for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat that operates power-generating stations.
In New Delhi, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said: “We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan. We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained.”
According to Tolo News, gunmen abducted seven people working in the KEC International Company from Baghlan area. Among the abducted people six are Indians and one is Afghan citizen. All seven Indian nationals were electrical engineers and working in the infrastructure company KEC.
Seven Indian engineers who were abducted in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province by Taliban gunmen were mistaken to be Afghan government employees, provincial governor Abdulhai Nemati has said. The Taliban terrorists taken them to the Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of Pul-e-Khumri city. Nemati said, that Afghan authorities spoke with the Taliban via local people. Taliban said that believing they were government employees, it had abducted them.
Indian Foreign Ministry is also in touch with the Indian Embassy located in Kabul. However, no official statement has yet been made. Taliban militants also attacked a government house in Afghanistan, last month.
Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani is learnt to have spoken to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and briefed her on the efforts being made to rescue the Indians.
In response to queries, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said, “We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan. We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained.”
Projects include helping to build a dam to provide drinking water to Kabul, building low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees and laying fibre optic cables for communication. Officials in New Delhi say India is Afghanistan’s biggest regional donor.
This is not the first time militants have targeted Indian interests in Afghanistan, though past attacks have usually been focused on the country’s diplomatic facilities.