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Jan 16, 4:11 AM EST

Afghan government says IS militants kidnap 14 clerics

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan official says that Islamic state militants stormed a religious school in eastern Nangarhar province, kidnapping 14 clerics who were teaching at the school and two administrators.

Mohammad Asif Shinwari, spokesman for the provincial education department, said Monday that the attack by three armed men took place over the weekend. No one has claimed responsibility but police and government officials blame Islamic State militants, who are operating in the area.

Meanwhile in northern Afghanistan's Baghlan province, police say gunmen shot and killed a senior government official. They say Mustafa Safayee was killed Monday by two gunmen on a motorcycle.

Afghanistan has been wracked by violence as the Taliban increases pressure on government security forces and the Islamic State group seeks to establish itself.

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