LANDI KOTAL, Sept 30: Suspected militants kidnapped at least 34 coal miners from Kalakhel area of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency on Friday, officials said.

Bara Assistant Political Agent Rehan Khattak told Dawn that soon after miners resumed their work early in the morning the militants arrived and took them away.

Most of the miners belong to poor families of Swat and Shangla districts.

“One of the abducted miners who suffers from asthma and could not climb a hillock while being taken away along with others, was freed by the kidnappers,” Mr Khattak said.

He said the kidnappers might have taken the miners to Tor Chapper area of Darra Adamkhel, the frontier region adjoining to Kohat district.

Sources said that the kidnappers burnt mining equipment before taking the miners away.

According to sources, no effort was made by the administration till late evening to get the miners freed. Both Kalakhel and Adamkhel are strongholds of the Taliban affiliated to the Tariq Afridi group. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

The Afridi group kidnapped over 30 coal miners from Darra Adamkhel in June and freed them after two months on payment of huge ransom.

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