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Taliban Kidnaps at Least 60, Kills 7 in Southern Afghanistan

Kandahar province, Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents have kidnapped at least 60 people from a village in southern Kandahar, Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Saturday, with seven of those prisoners reportedly killed.

Reports of the incident varied. A spokesman for the provincial governor told The Associated Press the villagers were kidnapped in a series of Taliban attacks on buses over the last four days, although the head of Kandahar provincial police told AFP the kidnappings took place Friday in the villagers' home.

"The Taliban abducted 70 people from their house in a village along the Kandahar-Tarinkot highway, Friday. They killed seven of them today," police chief Abdul Raziq told AFP. "Their bodies were found by villagers this morning."

Raziq said the insurgents released 30 of the hostages and were still holding 30 others. Samim Khpolwak, a spokesman for the governor, however, told the AP that 20 people escaped from their captors and 33 were still being held. He confirmed seven people had been killed.

Khpolwak said the buses were traveling to Uruzgan province when they were attacked.

The Taliban has not yet claimed responsibility for the kidnappings.