Three staff members from Herat’s Islam Qala district’s customs department who were kidnapped two months ago were killed on Monday night after their families failed to pay ransom, police said Tuesday.
After shooting the three hostages, in Kohsan district, the kidnappers told local residents to take the bodies of the three customs officials to their families.
The bodies were then taken to Herat’s regional hospital on Tuesday afternoon, police confirmed.
“The employees were between 40 and 50 years old. One of them is from Parwan province and the two others are from Herat,” Mohammad Rafiq Shirzai, a spokesperson for Herat hospital said.
“Kidnappers had killed them near the Bai Mohammad village in Kohsan district very badly. Because they did not have $1 million to pay to the kidnappers,” MP Mohammad Arif Tayyeb said.
Herat police spokesperson Abdul Ahad Walizada said the three employees were killed in Herat’s Kohsan district on Monday night after having been kidnapped while driving from Islam Qala to Herat city two months ago.
According to Walizada, police arrested nine people in connection with the kidnapping and shooting. He said they had planned to carry out a rescue operation but before they could do so, the hostages were killed.
“When they were kidnapped, police immediately took action and we have arrested nine people in relation to this incident. They have confessed that they were involved in this incident and now they are in police detention,” said Walizada.
Herat-Islam Qala road was one of the most secure roads in the province, but recently kidnappings have increased significantly along the road, officials said.