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Over 100 Indians picked up by Taliban near Kabul airport reported to be safe, talks on for release

Over 100 Indians picked up by Taliban near Kabul airport reported to be safe, talks on for release

As many as 150 people, mainly Indian nationals, were picked up by the Taliban from outside the Kabul airport early on Saturday morning but are now reported to be safe.

Reacting to the reports, government sources in Delhi said all Indian nationals are safe. The authorities are in touch with them and talks are on to get them released.

Many Afghan journalists claimed that over 100-150 Indians were kidnapped by the Taliban from outside the Kabul airport. Minutes after these reports surfaced on social media, local journalists claimed that all the Indians were safe and will be moved back to the Kabul airport. They said the Indians were rounded up by the Taliban and taken somewhere for checks.

A report in the Kabul Now online news portal quoting  'reliable sources' confirmed the development that 150 people mainly Indian nationals had been picked up by the Taliban.

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The source, who managed to escape with his wife and a few others, said that some of the abducted people included Afghan nationals and Afghan Sikhs, but most of them were Indian nationals.

He said they were all in eight minivan vehicles at around 01:00 this morning, which were on their way to Kabul airport to exit the country, but they could not enter the airport due to lack of US military cooperation.

According to the source, "a group of Taliban who were not armed approached them and then after physically beating them all took them to Tarakhil, an eastern neighbourhood of the capital Kabul."

According to some reports, the Indian nationals are being questioned by Taliban officials at a police station close to the Kabul airport and back-channel talks are on to ensure their release.

However, Ahmadullah Waseq, one of the Taliban spokespersons, has rejected reports of the abduction of around 150 Indian citizens from Kabul. He said members of the group were present around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and would not allow people to enter the airport, local media reported.