JALALABAD, Afghanistan, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Fourteen Afghan civilians kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) militants in the country's eastern province of Nangarhar were released Saturday, the provincial government said.
"The 12 religious teachers and two education employees, who were kidnapped by Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS) militants in Haska Mina district about 40 days ago were released Saturday morning. And they rejoined their families in the district," it said in a statement. The safe release of the abductees took place after mediation of local elders and efforts by the local authorities, the statement said.
Provincial Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal has praised those who had worked for the safe release of the abductees in the province, 120 km east of Kabul, it said.
The mountainous province, bordering Pakistan, has been the scene of clashes between security forces and IS militants since the emergence of IS there in early 2015.
More than 3,490 civilians were killed and over 7,920 others injured in conflict-related incidents across Afghanistan last year, according to figures released by the UN mission in the country.