Pakistani Taliban Says it Kidnapped 30 Young People in Afghanistan

Posted September 3rd, 2011 at 3:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The Pakistani Taliban says it is holding about 30 young people who were kidnapped several days ago after mistakenly crossing into Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the militant group said Saturday the Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-i-Taliban, carried out the abduction because the young people and their families belong to a tribe opposed to the militants.

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

The Pakistani Taliban spokesman said none of those being held is younger than 20. He said the Taliban will decide their fate.

Pakistani officials said those kidnapped were boys between the ages of 10 and 18. The officials said the incident occurred Thursday after the boys mistakenly crossed from Pakistan's Bajaur tribal region into eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province.

Tribal elders were reported to be negotiating with the Taliban for the captives' release.