Dozens of Afghan Peace Activists Kidnapped, Police Blame Taliban

Peace group's convoy reported captured in Farah Province

At least 26 members, and 27 according to some sources, of Afghanistan’s People’s Peace Movement (PPM) were kidnapped on Wednesday in the Farah Province, when their convoy of vehicles was captured in the countryside.

The PPM had been holding peace rallies across Western Afghanistan, staring in Helmand and Herat, and recently trying to move into Farah. Afghan officials, and the PPM leadership, are accusing the Taliban of being behind the kidnappings.

The Taliban does have control in the area where the convoy was captured. Yet it’s not clear what the motivation of such an ambush would be, and the Taliban has not issued a statement confirming the incident.

Nor, indeed, has anyone issued a statement on the matter. Concurrently with this incident, the telephone lines in that part of Farah went down, so there is particular difficulty to get information out of this area and figure out what’s happening.

PPM officials reported that local tribal elders have been engaging in talks with the Taliban to try to secure the release of the activists. There is no word out of the area on how this is going, likely because of the communications blackout.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.