Afghan official: Taliban insurgents abduct, kill 26 people

Taliban insurgents on Wednesday killed 26 Afghan civilians after abducting them in the remote central province of Ghor the previous day, officials said, the latest brutal attack targeting the local population in one of the country's most lawless areas.

The slain civilians were from a group of 33 taken by the militants near the provincial capital of Ferozkoh, according to Ziauddin Saqib, the deputy provincial police chief. Earlier reports suggested 20 were killed but the death toll rose later in the day.

The abductions took place while battles were underway between the Taliban and Afghan security forces on Tuesday that saw two militant commanders killed, Saqib added.