Incident Summary:

02/23/2015: Assailants in military uniforms stopped two buses on the Kabul-Kandahar Highway and abducted 31 male Hazara passengers in Shahjoy district, Zabul, Afghanistan. As of November 10, 2015, 28 of the hostages were released or rescued, two hostages were killed, and the final victim died of natural causes. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) claimed responsibility for the attack. However, sources and authorities attributed the incident to the Khorasan Chapter of the Islamic State, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LEJ).




South Asia

region/u.s. state:


Shahjoy district

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Hazara Civilians
Nationality of Target Afghanistan
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 31
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 260
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Casualty numbers for this incident conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the most recent reliable estimates are reported here. One hostage was released on February 25, 2015. Another hostage died of natural causes while a second victim was shot and killed on April 6, 2015. Another hostage was beheaded on April 7, 2015. Approximately 19 victims were released on May 11, 2015 while the final eight hostages were rescued on November 10, 2015.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
Khorasan Chapter of the Islamic State No
Taliban No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 3 Fatalities / 28 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 3
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 28
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Kidnappers free 19 Afghan Hazaras," BBC, May 11, 2015.
"Video shows Afghan hostage beheaded," BBC, April 7, 2015.
"Afghan IS captive buried head of fellow hostage," Agence France-Presse Top News (English), t, November 20, 2015.