Six Indians abducted by armed men in Afghanistan's Baghlan

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The latest assault is likely to deter more people from signing up for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections scheduled for October 20.

Efforts are under way to rescue the five Indian engineers who have been abducted in Afghanistan's Baghlan province, the Afghan government said on Monday.

According to reports, security officials in Afghanistan are now working with local tribal elders as rescue operation is underway to trace the seven engineers abducted by the suspected Taliban gunmen. "We want to assure everyone concerned that we are working with the authorities to ensure safe return of our employees", said Vimal Kejriwal, MD and CEO of KEC International.

"We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan.We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained", read a statement issued by the MEA.

A worshipper said that they were still praying at the mosque when a huge blast occurred.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shuja said the Afghan driver of the engineers is also missing and an operation is underway for their release, according to media reports.

The kidnapping took place when the Indian engineers were travelling to a government-run power station, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), in Bagh-e-Shamal area. In the past, the insurgents have cut power lines in the region, which are used to import electricity from central Asian countries to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Television reports said local police officials had been told by the Taliban that the Indians were being held by the group.

Habib Shah Ansari, head of the Khost health department says 17 are confirmed dead.

The explosion in mosque in Khost province in Eastern Afghanistan killed at least 13 people, more than 30 were injured.

Police said another civilian was wounded in the attack, in an area where the Taliban and an IS affiliate are active.

In the eastern Paktia province, a auto bomb killed two people and wounded another three.