Afghanistan authorities on Thursday said two of the hostages abducted by the Taliban from a bus convoy during the week had been shot dead.

Hejratullah Akbari, Spokesman for Police in the Northern Province of Kunduz, said the bodies of the two civilians were dumped on a road in Chahardara district of Kunduz.

He said that the security forces had launched an operation to rescue the remaining eight hostages.

Hamdullah Danish, Spokesman for the Governor of Kunduz Province, said six buses were stopped by the Taliban in the province's Aliabad district on the highway to Kabul on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the group stopped three buses and found 26 soldiers who were identified by the documents they had.

The group said that it killed six of the soldiers during the incident, and that all those kidnapped were also members of the government armed forces.

Taliban regularly stop vehicles to search for members of the Afghan government, security forces and international organizations.

Kunduz is one of the most embattled provinces in northern Afghanistan.