Landi Kotal: Militants kidnap, release 16 locals
LANDI KOTAL: Unidentified militants kidnapped 16 locals from near a road in Landi Kotal on Thursday night, but released them after negotiations on Friday. According to a Khasadar official, the militants stopped a truck-driver on the main road in Shagai, Jamrud tehsil, and took away his container loaded with goods for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan. Armed relatives of the truck-driver from the Shinwari tribe, upon learning of the robbery, blocked the road in neighbouring Landi Kotal to stop the militants. The militants got hold of the 16 locals and took them hostage, and also took away the container.
Khasadars chased the militants, but failed to locate them. Secret negotiations were arranged with the militants on Friday morning, following which the 16 locals were released and the container returned. A security guard however is still being kept hostage, a Khasadar official said. The names of the released hostages could not be confirmed. Jamrud Tehsildar Bakhtyar Khan however denied that the militants had taken the container from the Jamrud area, saying it was an impossibility with the number of Khasadar checkposts on the main road, and the incident most definitely occurred in Landi Kotal.