May 6, 2018 / 10:35 AM / 5 months ago

Seven Indian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan: police

KABUL (Reuters) - Seven Indian engineers and an Afghan national working for a power plant in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan were kidnapped on Sunday, officials said.

Zabihullah Shuja, spokesman for 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.

Two officials at the Indian embassy in Kabul confirmed the kidnapping of the engineers, all working for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) that operates power generating stations.

A senior Indian embassy official said over 150 Indian engineers and technical experts are currently working across Afghanistan on large infrastructure projects.

“We are working out ways to ensure the release of our engineers,” an official said.

It is not known who is responsible for the kidnapping or whether a ransom has been sought for their release.

Kidnapping of locals for extortions are common in Afghanistan. Rampant poverty and rising unemployment has worsened the situation.

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

The Indian government regularly issues a security alert for Indians residing in Afghanistan and traveling to the war-torn country.

Reporting by Qadir Sediq, Sardar Razmal, Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, Writing by Rupam Jain, Editing by Adrian Croft

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