Tribal groups, Afghan officials collaborating to rescue Indian engineers

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Security officials in Afghanistan are working with local tribal elders to trace the seven Indian engineers abducted by the Taliban gunmen in the restive northern Baghlan province, media reports said on Monday.

Nemati was quoted as saying that Afghan authorities spoke with Taliban via local people and the terror group said it had mistakenly abducted the staff members believing that they were government employees.

Officials say the explosion occurred in the eastern province of Khost on Sunday.

Television reports said local police officials had been told by the Taliban that the Indians were being held by the group.

Baghlan Governor Abdul Hai Niamati also said security forces were trying to secure the release of the abducted Indians and one Afghan national.

They were employees of KEC International, a power transmission engineering, procurement and construction company that is part of the Mumbai-headquartered RPG Enterprises.

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Habib Shah Ansari, the provincial head of public health, provided the first precise toll from the attack, which was earlier confirmed by other officials.

None of the terrorist groups operating in the country, has not yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Basir Bina, spokesman for the provincial police, said people were gathered after afternoon prayers in the mosque, which was also being used as a voter registration centre for parliamentary elections due in October.

Last month, an IS suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others.

And a vehicle bomb killed two people and wounded another three in the eastern Paktia province in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

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