090705-landmines-hmed-150a.grid-6x2Unknown gunmen kidnapped at least 57 deminers in western Herat province of Afghanistan early Tuesday morning.

The deminers were kidnapped by militants in Pashtun Zarghun district of Herat province, local officials confirmed.

A spokesman for the provincial security commandment, Abdul Rauf Ahmadi confirmed that militants kidnapped a number of deminers from Pashtun Zarghoon district around 7:30 am local time.

Mr. Ahmadi further added that the deminers belong to Halo Trust demining organization, and were kidnapped by gunmen from Marwa area in Pashtun Zarghoon district.

He said at least six deminers were freed following an operation and Afghan security forces also recovered four vehicles belonging to the demining organization, during the military operation.

Provincial governor, Faizullah Wahidi also confirmed that militants had initially kidnapped 63 deminers, but six of them were released following a military operation.

Herat is among the relatively peaceful provinces in western Afghanistan, however Taliban militants have increased their operations in a number of its districts.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.


  • Ahmad Shah Ghani Zada is the former Senior Editor of Khaama Press Agency who managed and overlooked the English edition. He is occasionally contributing stories to the agency.