KABUL, Afghanistan — A provincial police chief says two Germans who went missing nearly three weeks ago while hiking in the Hindu Kush mountains were shot to death.
Gen. Sher Ahmad Maladani, police chief of Afghanistan's eastern Parwan province, said Monday that a rescue team reached the bodies in the late afternoon. He says the two men had bullet holes in their chest, but it's not clear when they died.
Abdul Basir Salangi, the governor of eastern Parwan province, said the men were found under a large boulder about 2 1/2 miles from the south end of the Salang Pass, where they began their hike on Aug. 19. He had no other details.
Police Gen. Rajab, who like many Afghans goes by only one name, said the two bodies were inside cloth sacks.
In unrelated incidents, a roadside bomb and a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 20 in two separate attacks around the country, the Interior Ministry said.
Five civilians were killed Monday when a roadside bomb detonated next to their vehicle in western Afghanistan's Faryab province. It added that in another incident late Sunday in southern Kandahar city, a suicide bomber in a car killed three Afghan private security guards and wounded another 20. The guards were part of a convoy and had stopped for evening prayers when the attack occurred. The ministry provided no other details on either incident.
The region where the Germans went missing is not a Taliban area, and last month Afghan police speculated the two men could have gotten lost in the high mountains or may have been the victims of a crime. The agency they were working for has not been named.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Aug. 23 that German and Afghan officials were searching for the pair and could not rule out kidnapping.
The day they went missing, the two traveled to the south end of the Salang Pass, north of Kabul, around 8 a.m. and told their driver they were going into the mountains. They promised to return at 4 p.m. and the driver waited until 6 p.m. before contacting local authorities, and the search began.
The Salang Pass is a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the Afghan capital, Kabul, with the northern part of the nation.
Germany has been a major contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and currently has some 5,200 troops stationed in the country, largely in the north.
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