Afghan officials say nine people who were kidnapped in a northern province have been killed.
Abdul Jabar Haqbeen, the governor of the Sar-e Pol Province, said on April 2 that provincial council candidate Hussain Nazari is among the dead.
The nine were abducted over the weekend and officials had been negotiating for their release.
Five bodies have been recovered thus far and a search is being conducted to find the others.
Some of the bodies were beheaded.
No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings or killings.
The Taliban has vowed to disrupt nationwide elections scheduled for this weekend.
Based on reporting by AP and dpa