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Kunduz-Takhar highway hostage crisis
Part of War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
File:File:Afghan border crossing at Sher Khan in Kunduz Province-4.jpg
A highway border crossing checkpoint in the same province that the attack took place.
Location Kunduz-Takhar highway and Omarkhil, Kunduz province, Afghanistan
Date May 31, 2016 (2016-05-31) – Unclear end date
Deaths 33+ (six attackers killed, maybe more.[1])
Non-fatal injuries
Victims Around 262 civilians
Assailants Over 250 Taliban members, maybe other groups
Motive Terrorism

On May 31, 2016, Taliban militants posing as government officials kidnapped around 220 civilians at a fake checkpoint along the Kunduz-Takhar highway near Arzaq Angor Bagh in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, on the outskirts of the city of Kunduz.[1]

More people were killed and kidnapped on June 8.[2]


The civilians were kidnapped from four buses, three vans, and three cars while travelling on the highway. Most of the passengers were eventually released, but at least seventeen have been killed, and at least eighteen (some sources say "around 20") are still being held hostage. A rescue mission for the eighteen or more civilians has been launched.[3] Some of the hostages were killed on the spot, and some were killed after they were transported to the village of Omarkhil in Chardara.[4] Afghan forces rescued many of the passengers, and some members were also taken hostage. Six people were killed after trying to escape when the security forces arrived.[5]

On June 8, 2016, at least 12 hostages being held were executed, and 10 were released.[2] Another 40 were kidnapped on the same day.[6]

Four people were killed and two more kidnapped after another connected event in Uruzgan province. Over 250 members of the Taliban are claimed to be involved. Other groups may also be involved.[7]

Similar incidents

Soon after the attack, four suicide bombers attacked a courthouse in Ghazni, killing at least nine people, and themselves, and injuring 13.[8] Six days before the attack, 11 were killed on a court minibus attack, soon after the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansour. All of these attacks have been conducted by the Taliban.[9] The Taliban held Kunduz briefly one year before the attack.[5]

See also


1.^ It has not been confirmed whether or not six "attackers" that were killed for running away were actually attackers or not.


  1. "Taliban kill ten in Afghanistan’s Kunduz: Officials - The Journal of Turkish Weekly". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Afghan Taliban seize dozens of hostages in Kunduz - BBC News". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  3. "Taliban kill 17 passengers after kidnapping around 185 in Kunduz - Khaama Press (KP) - Afghan News Agency". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. CNN, Euan McKirdy and Masoud Popalzai. "Police: Taliban kidnap 200, keep 20 hostage". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Afghan Taliban kill nine, kidnap 20 bus passengers, army rescues 140 others". 31 May 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  6. "Afghan Taliban abducts 40 passengers on Kunduz highway". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  7. "Taliban kill 12 captives in front of hundreds of people, official says - Fox News". 8 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  8. "Four suicide bombers kill nine at Afghanistan court". 1 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  9. "ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 

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