Taliban stop bus in Afghanistan and kidnap Koreans-police
( Reuters ) - Taliban insurgents stopped a bus in Afghanistan and kidnapped some of the passengers, including Korean citizens, a local police chief said on Friday.
The Taliban said they had seized 18 Koreans, 15 men and three women.
"They are safe with us, we are investigating them and our demands and reaction will be announced later." said Taliban spokesman Said Yousuf Ahmadi by telephone from an undisclosed location.
The bus was travelling from the southern city of Kandahar to the capital Kabul on Thursday when Taliban rebels stopped it in the Qarabagh district of Ghazni province, the local police chief Khowaja Mohammad Sadeeq told Reuters.
A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said in Seoul about 20 South Korean Christian volunteers were feared to have been kidnapped by Taliban insurgents.
South Korea has no combat troops in Afghanistan, only a contingent of engineers and doctors.
Taliban insurgents have kidnapped a number of foreign nationals as part of their campaign to overthrow the Afghan government and drive out its Western backers.
Two Germans and six Afghans were abducted southwest of Kabul on Wednesday and are still missing.
"The German citizens are safe with us. Our demand is the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan and also the release of our prisoners," said Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi.
One German national was kidnapped in western Afghanistan this month, but was released unharmed after few days.
The Taliban kidnapped two French aid workers and three of their Afghan colleagues in southwestern Afghanistan in April but later released them unharmed.