Indian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan's Baghlan province

Afghan security forces struggle to control parts of Baghlan province. Courtesy: BBC

Seven Indian engineers have been kidnapped in Afghanistan along with their Afghan driver, police say.

Gunmen grabbed them from a vehicle on the outskirts of the Baghlan provincial capital, Pul-e Khomri, on Sunday.

No group has said it carried out the kidnapping. However, provincial governor Abdul Hai Nemati told Tolo TV that the Taliban was responsible.

Kidnappings are a serious problem in Afghanistan where large areas are blighted by gangs or militant groups.

Provincial council chairman Mohammad Safdar Mohseni said the group had ignored warnings to take a police escort through an area largely controlled by the Taliban.

Indian officials in Kabul said the engineers worked for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat company that operates a power station in northern Baghlan.

“We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained,” a spokesman for Indian external affairs said.

In 2011, 12 Iranian and Afghan engineers were kidnapped while working on a road project in western Afghanistan.

They were released after local tribal elders acted as mediators with Taliban insurgents.

Last year, a Finnish woman working for a Swedish aid group was kidnapped from a Kabul guesthouse and released some months later.