The Taliban released 235 hostages after it massacred 50 in remote Afghanistan


"They (released hostages) have been safely evacuated to the eponymous provincial capital Sar-e Pul, but there are still an unknown number of people being kept hostage there", Amani said.

More than 200 hostages from the northern Afghan village of Mirza Olang were released on August 8, according to local news reports.

"We have sent some people including elders and people from Mirza Olang area to convince the Taliban to free around 150 captured families and give us the dead bodies of villagers", provincial governor Zahir Wahdat said, warning the Taliban that failed negotiations would lead to a "massive operation" by the government forces.

Fighting has intensified this year across Afghanistan, with dozens of security incidents recorded every day. The victims were mostly Shia Muslims and minority Hazaras.

Afghan defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told AFP that 34 civilians were known to have been killed.

The discrepancy highlights the difficulty of verifying information from poor, mountainous areas of Afghanistan made inaccessible by fighting and with patchy communications.

"Two hundred and thirty-five hostages have been released".

However, certain sources are saying that more than 50 people were killed and the brutal act was reportedly carried out jointly by the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists.

The battle began on Thursday when a checkpoint manned by the local police was attacked.

The Taliban confirmed capturing Mirzawalang but said it did so alone. It also denied allegations the insurgents killed civilians.

While there they would advise Afghan combat forces and provide air support against Taliban insurgents.

"I will promise that our courageous security forces will take revenge", Ghani said during a ceremony at the presidential palace, broadcast live on TV.

"Since the villages are cut off, we can't confirm any new killings by the terrorists", Amani said.

Expressing condolences to the Afghan government and nation over the "inhumane crime", Shamkhani described serious resolve, joint efforts by the neighbors, and genuine war on terrorism as the key to tackling such "painful measures by the extremist groups affiliated with the Takfiri ideologies".