ASADABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) â€” Taliban militants beheaded Wednesday four Afghan roadworkers abducted a week ago while a series of rebel bombings killed three civilians, authorities said.
The militants who abducted the four men in the mountainous and remote northeastern province of Nuristan had demanded ransom from their families, the interior ministry said in a statement.
“After the families refused, they committed such a barbaric act,” it said.
The statement blamed the decapitations on the Taliban, who have previously used this style of murder.
The extremist religious movement was in government between 1996 and 2001 and is today leading an insurgency against the administration of President Hamid Karzai that is marked by bombings and kidnappings.
In another incident Wednesday, a Taliban-style suicide car bomb exploded near a NATO convoy in southern Kandahar province but missed the troops, a NATO spokesman and a police chief said.
No soldiers with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were hurt, a spokesman told AFP. Kandahar province police chief Sayed Agha Saqeb said four civilians were hurt. He blamed the attack on Taliban rebels.
Also in Kandahar, two civilians were killed and four were hurt when a bomb planted on a road exploded under their vehicle on Tuesday, Saqeb said.
“The bomb was planted by Taliban to target security forces but it hit innocent civilians,” Saqeb said.
Another civilian was killed in a similar explosion in the province Tuesday, he added.
The spurt in unrest in Afghanistan over the past two years has alarmed many involved in the costly international effort to stabilise and rebuild the country, one of the poorest in the world after decades of war.
Last year was the deadliest of the insurgency, with about 6,000 people killed.