Police had earlier said that they had found the bodies of two Afghans and eight foreigners in the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan on Friday.

General Agha Noor Kemtuz, the provincial police chief, said the victims had been shot and found next to three bullet-riddled four-wheel drive vehicles.

Kemtuz said a third Afghan man, who had been traveling with the group, survived.

"He told me he was shouting and reciting the holy Quran and saying 'I am Muslim. Don't kill me'," Kemtuz said.

'Nothing was left behind'

Kemtuz said the survivor told him that the group, which had been traveling in Panjshir, Nuristan and Badakhshan provinces, were surrounded by armed men and then attacked.

He speculated that robbery could have been a motive in the killings in the remote Kuran Wa Munjan district.

"We couldn't find any passports or anything," he said. "Nothing was left behind."

It was unclear what the group had been doing in the forested area away from main routes through the province.

"We understand from locals that the foreigners were first seen in the area around 14 days ago," Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from the Afghan capital, Kabul, said.

"In the last four or five days, shepherds reported that there had been vehicles shot up in the area.

"Investigations are continuing ... It's a very remote area."