12:11 GMT +317 January 2018
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    In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 photo, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammed Rasool, unseen, the newly-elected leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, in Farah province, Afghanistan

    Taliban Takes Dozens Hostage in Southern Afghanistan

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    Dozens of people were taken hostage by Taliban militants in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, local Khaama Press reported Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The incident occurred in district of Gereshk after militants blocked a number of vehicles, including a bus carrying passengers. The number of hostages has not yet been confirmed.

    Kidnappings have become more frequent across Afghanistan in recent weeks, the media outlet reported. A major incident took place last month in the northern Kunduz province. A total of 185 passengers were kidnapped while traveling along the main highway, with 17 people subsequently killed by the radicals. The majority of the hostages were later released.

    The long-standing Taliban insurgency has expanded its activities in Afghanistan to major cities, as other extremist factions, including Daesh, which is outlawed in many countries including Russia, also seek to boost their influence in the country.

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