7 Indians working for Afghan power plant kidnapped by gunmen in Baghlan; in contact with authorities, says MEA

Kabul: Seven Indian engineers and an Afghan national working for a power plant in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan were kidnapped on Sunday, officials said.

 7 Indians working for Afghan power plant kidnapped by gunmen in Baghlan; in contact with authorities, says MEA

Representational image. Reuters

Zabihullah Shuja, spokesman for Baghlan police, said the engineers were travelling to a government-run power station in a minibus when unknown gunmen abducted them and their Afghan driver.

Two officials at the Indian embassy in Kabul confirmed the kidnapping of the engineers, all working for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) that operates power generating stations.

A senior Indian embassy official said over 150 Indian engineers and technical experts are currently working across Afghanistan on large infrastructure projects.

“We are working out ways to ensure the release of our engineers,” an official said.

It is not known who is responsible for the kidnapping or whether a ransom has been sought for their release.

ANI reported that an Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, responding to the reports of abduction, said, "We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan. We are in contact with Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained".

Kidnapping of locals for extortions are common in Afghanistan. Rampant poverty and rising unemployment has worsened the situation.

In 2016, an Indian aid worker was kidnapped in Kabul. She was released after 40 days.

The Indian government regularly issues a security alert for Indians residing in Afghanistan and travelling to the war-torn country.

With inputs from Reuters

Updated Date: May 06, 2018 18:18:27 IST