Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Afghan forces said they have freed most of the large group of people taken hostage by the Taliban Monday.
"Security forces conducted a rescue operation and managed to release 149 passengers," government spokesman Esmatullah Muradi told Al Jazeera, adding that 21 people were still held hostage by the armed group.
"The passengers were taken hostage in the morning when they were on their way to the capital Kabul from Takhar province," he'd said earlier.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed the three buses were captured and said civilians from the group would be released. Afghan security forces, he said, would remain in custody.