KABUL: The bullet-riddled bodies of five aid workers have been found, weeks after they were kidnapped by gunmen in the volatile south of Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday.

The group of Afghan workers for Save the Children was snatched by gunmen in Trinkot, capital of the strife-torn Uruzgan province, on March 3, according to a statement by the United Nations.

A spokesman for the provincial governor blamed the Taliban for the workers’ deaths after their bodies were found on Friday, saying the militant group had demanded a prisoner exchange.

“The Taliban had kidnapped the aid workers and were demanding the release of some of their colleagues in government custody,” Dost Mohammad Nayab said. “After their demand was rejected, they shot and killed the aid workers. We found their bodies in Chanarto district yesterday.”

Zubaida Akbar, a senior communication officer with Save the Children in Afghanistan, confirmed the deaths.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2015

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