Hostage Shoots Taliban Captors, Kills 18 In Afghanistan
Afghan security forces have been struggling to beat back a resurgent Taliban since US-led NATO forces ended their combat mission in 2014. AFP

A man held hostage by Talibans in Afghanistan has escaped by stealing a gun from his captors while they were praying, shooting seven of them with 18 injured.

According to local reports, Awal Khan and a local police officer were kidnapped Wednesday as they were drove in the eastern province of Paktika.

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Provincial Deputy Security Chief Abdul Rauf Masood told AFP on Thursday that the officer was killed and 36-year-old Awal taken to a Taliban compound in Gomal district where he was held hostage for hours.

“Awal Khan sprayed bullets on all of them, killing seven and wounding 18 others,” Provincial Governor spokesman Mohammad Rahman Ayaz told AFP.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group had kidnapped the two men.

According to him, Awal had opened fire on the militants, killing three of them and then fled in a pickup truck belonging to his kidnappers.