Armed assailants have kidnapped 13 Iranian engineers in the western province of Farah in Afghanistan. The engineers were working for an Iranian construction company, building a 75-mile road in the Hassan-Abad district of Farah. The province borders Iran. The militants in the area have taken responsibility for the kidnapping and have threatened to kill the hostages if work on the road is not halted.
"For the time being the road construction has stopped. Police have launched a search operation in the area where they were kidnapped," said Gen. Sayed Mohammad, the police chief for Farah province [AP, 18 April].
UPDATE (20 April): The twelve engineers were freed by their captors unharmed on Wednesday 20 April, Afghan police officials announced.