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Afghan Spy Agency Frees Eight Kidnapped Hazaras

Afghanistan's spy agency says it has freed eight people who were among a large group of ethnic minority Hazaras kidnapped earlier in 2015.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement that five men, two women, and a teenager were freed in Ghazni Province on November 10.

It was not clear if the eight were among 31 Hazaras abducted from a bus in Ghazni in March.

Senior government officials have said Islamic State militants were behind those abductions.

The NDS statement did not disclose who was responsible for kidnapping the eight people who were freed on November 10.

On November 7, the decapitated bodies of seven Hazaras who had been kidnapped in Ghazni in recent months were found in neighboring Zabul Province.

Rival Taliban factions have been fighting against each other in the region for days and Zabul’s provincial governor, Mohmmad Anwar Ishaqzai, blamed the beheadings on IS militants who have sided with one of those Taliban factions.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP