MAZAR-I-SHARIF/SAR-I-PUL- A provincial council runner has been killed along with eight others by the Taliban in Northern Sar-i-Pul

province of Afghanistan, an official said today.

Two days earlier, gunmen kidnapped Husain Nazari and his nine friends in the Boghawi area on the Jawzjan- Sar-i-Pul highway. The captives were shot dead Tuesday night, the police chief said. Noor Habib Gulbahar said the bodies of four victims had been recovered and efforts were underway to find the rest in the Taliban-controlled area. The insurgents had avenged the killing of fighters in a security offensive, he added.

Hayatullah Alami, a provincial council member, said the victims’ bodies had been dumped on a roadside in Boghawi. Bereaved families gathered in front of the Sar-i-Pul Hospital early in the morning to receive the corpses of their near ones. Separately, Senator Masooma Shadab was rescued by police from armed rebels trying to kidnap her on the way to the capital of Sar-i-Pul.

Also in the race for the Sar-i-Pul provincial council seat, Shadab’s convoy come under attack in the Deh Murda area of Sancharak district on Tuesday.  But the senator was rescued by police after a gunbattle with insurgents. One policeman was killed in the clash, according to the police chief.