Islamabad: Five Pakistani Shiites, including a woman, were killed in Afghanistan's volatile eastern Paktiya province, nearly two weeks after they were abducted from a bordering district, local media here reported on Friday.

The five were abducted by unidentified men on August 14 from the bordering Samankani district after they entered Afghanistan in a car.

Their bodies were found on Thursday in Jani Khel district of Afghanistan's Paktiya province, Pakistani media said.

The bodies were brought to Pakistan's Kurram tribal area after Afghan officials handed them over to elders of Turi and Bangash tribes.

Deputy Governor of Paktiya province, Abdul Rahman Mangal, said he has asked tribal elders in both Samankani and Jani Khel districts to find out those responsible for the abduction and killing of Pakistani nationals. He said motives behind the killings were unclear.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

This was the second incident of the killing of Pakistani passengers in Paktiya province in over a year. At least 11 Pakistanis were killed in July last year when unknown gunmen opened fire on their van in the Samankani district of the volatile Paktiya province.

Pakistan's Kurram tribal agency has also seen increased fighting between rival sectarian groups over the past few years.

Sectarian tension and presence of Taliban militants have led to closure of several roads, forcing residents to travel through long and risky Afghan route.
Main roads in Kurram have been unsafe since 2007 due to frequent attacks by militants and military operations. Residents, mostly Shiites have no choice but to travel through Afghanistan to reach their native areas.

They routinely enter Afghanistan's Paktiya province and cross Torkham border after a long journey to Logar, Kabul and Ningarhar provinces, according to Afghans.

(Agencies)