Taliban Kidnaps 35 Professors In Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents have kidnapped 35 professors from Kandahar University, after stopping their van on the highway linking the southern province and Kabul, a spokesman for provincial governor said.

“The professors were on their way to the capital when they were abducted and tribal elders are now involved in negotiating with the Taliban,” Dawa Khan Minapal said by telephone.

The Taliban, removed from power by a United States (US)-led drive into Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks, is on the offensive ahead of the planned withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of 2014.

Security is being ramped up in Afghanistan ahead of Saturday’s run-off vote to replace President Hamid Karzai.

The poll pits Abdullah Abdullah, a former leader of the opposition to the Taliban, against former finance minister, Ashraf Ghan.