Security forces freed seven hostages from Taliban fighters hours after the group ambushed two vehicles in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said.
Those rescued were among 15 captured when the insurgents stopped a 50-seater bus and a Toyota estate Wednesday morning, Kunduz police said.
Governor spokesman Hamdullah Danish put the figure of those originally taken at 18, down from the first reported figure of more than 40.
The captives were seized in Khanabad district on the road from Kunduz city to Takhar, said Hejratullah Akbari, a spokesman for Kunduz police.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident yet.
In the central province of Ghazni, the bodies of 10 policemen and two intelligence officers were found late Tuesday, said Jawid Salangi, a spokesman for Ghazni police. The victims were kidnapped in two incidents on Friday and Sunday.
In May, the Taliban stopped a convoy of busses and kidnapped more than 150 people. Twelve were confirmed killed and many released, while eight are thought to remain in captivity.