Pakistani Taliban Claims Kidnapping 25 Boys in Afghanistan

Posted September 3rd, 2011 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
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The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for abducting about 25 boys who had mistakenly crossed into neighboring Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban said Saturday his group had kidnapped the boys because they were from areas that have sided with Islamabad in the fight against militants. He added that the group's leadership will decide on what to do with the boys.

Pakistani officials said Friday that militants had kidnapped the boys, between the ages of 10 and 18, Thursday after they crossed from Pakistan's Bajaur tribal region into eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province.

The boys were taking part in an outing when they inadvertently strayed across the border into Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said militants seized some 40 boys, but those under age 12 were allowed to return to their villages. Tribal elders were reported to be negotiating with the captors to free the remaining children.

The porous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a known safe haven for al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants.