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IS militants murder three medical workers in Afghanistan Open in fullscreen

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IS militants murder three medical workers in Afghanistan

Afghans hold a candlelight vigil after news of beheadings [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 April, 2018

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The murders took place in the Islamic State group stronghold province of Nangarhar along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Islamic State group militants beheaded three medical workers in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, an official said Monday.

The three men, all of whom are brothers, were killed in the Chaparhar district on Saturday night, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar told Reuters

Attaullah Khogyani said the father of the victims, himself also a doctor, was beheaded by the IS last year. The hardline group has a reputation for violence in Nangarhar, its stronghold. 

In a separate incident in the province, IS kidnapped 11 farmers in Rodat disctrict. However, two were later released. 

IS has not claimed either incident. 

Nangarhar is located along the porous Afghan-Pakistan border. The Afghani Islamic State group branch first cropped up in the area around the start of 2015.

Lal Mohammed Durrani, an official on Nangarhar's provincial council, said the abduction took place on a poppy field. The 11 workers were harvesting the crop, which fuels opium production in the country. 

Afghanistan remains the world's largest source of heroin, supplying about 9,000 metric tonnes per year, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. 

On 14 April, Afghanistan began registering voters in years-delayed legislative elections.

Most observers expect 2018 to be a year marked by intense violence in the lead up to the October polls.

On Sunday, an IS suicide bomber killed at least 57 people outside a voter registration centre in Kabul. More than 100 were also wounded in the blast.  

IS have carried out other attacks on civilians in Afghanistan, with the country's Hazara Shia population a common target of the group.

At least 26 people were killed in Kabul last month, when a militant detonated a bomb belt amid a Persian New Year celebration, which IS and other jihadi groups deem "un-Islamic".

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