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Taliban Suspected Of Killing Five Afghan Soldiers

4 May 2004 -- The dead bodies of five Afghan government soldiers were found in southern Afghanistan today, a day after they were abducted by suspected Taliban.

Zabul Governor Khial Mohammad said troops sent to search for the five soldiers found their bodies in the Sur Ghogan area of Zabul Province, about 380 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kabul,

Officials say the troops were kidnapped yesterday when suspected Taliban stopped their vehicle between Shahjoy and the provincial capital Qalat, on the main road from Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar.

A purported spokesman for the Taliban, Abdul Hakim Latifi, said yesterday that it had taken the men, but also said they are safe and that conditions for their release will be discussed later.

But Mullah Rozi Khan, the Taliban's top commander for Zabul Province, told Reuters news agency today, "We have killed the five that we kidnapped."