The Afghan Taliban has executed six men who worked for a development program in the western Afghan province of Herat.
Officials said that the men, who were Afghans, were kidnapped by the Taliban on Sunday and that their bodies were found Tuesday.
The men were reported to have been part of a rural development project funded in part by the World Bank. Four of the six were reported to be engineers.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai reacted to the killings while on a visit to Pakistan, where he has been calling on Islamabad to arrange for peace talks with the Taliban. He said in a statement Tuesday that "the killing of innocent engineers and workers shows that the Taliban and their foreign masters want Afghanistan to be an impoverished and underdeveloped country forever."