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Volkswagen suffered whiplash from a massive engine-rigging scandal as profits slumped in the first quarter, but the embattled German auto giant Tuesday insisted things were not as bad as they look. Volkswagen, which owns 12 brands in all, from VW to Audi, Porsche, Seat and Lamborhgini, said in a statement that it "put in a solid performance in the first three months" of 2016, despite the so-called "dieselgate" scandal. The still incalculable costs of the affair -- including regulatory fines and legal costs -- pushed VW into the red for the first time in more than 20 years last year when it booked a loss of 1.6 billion euros due to the 16 billion euros in provisions it was forced to set aside.
The Taliban killed at least 16 people Tuesday and kidnapped dozens of others after pulling them off buses in northern Afghanistan, officials said, the latest assault since the insurgents named a new leader last week. The Taliban claimed they were targeting Afghan security officials aboard the buses passing through Aliabad district in the province of Kunduz, where the insurgents briefly overran the provincial capital in a stunning military victory last year. Around 200 passengers were travelling in four buses towards Kabul when they were waylaid by Taliban gunmen, with some killed on the side of the road at point-blank range, officials said.