UK aid worker seized in Pakistan
Armed men kidnapped a British Red Cross worker from the southwestern
Pakistani city of Quetta today, police and the Red Cross said, highlighting the fragile security situation in the country.
The incident took place hours after Islamist militants elsewhere in the country killed 15 Pakistani security officers they seized last month close to the Afghan border and left their naked, bullet-riddled bodies sprawled on the ground.
Police officer Nazir Ahmed Kurd said the man was taken from a vehicle in an upscale housing complex in Quetta. The assailants bundled him into their car and drove off. Kurd said the man was visiting a local school.
Sitara Jabeen, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokeswoman, said health program manager Khalil Rasjed Dale, a British national, was on his way home from work in a clearly marked ICRC vehicle when he was seized near his residence.
In a statement, she said despite the incident, the ICRC would continue its humanitarian work in Pakistan. She called for a "rapid and unconditional release" of Dale.
Baluchistan province is home to Islamist militants and separatist insurgents.
Both groups have kidnapped foreigners and locals in the region before.
Another officer, Ahsan Mahboob, said the British man was traveling with a Pakistani doctor and a driver. They were not taken, he said.
In 2009, an American working for the United Nations refugee agency in the city was kidnapped from the same district as the British aid worker. John Solecki was held for two months by the separatist Baluchistan Liberation United Front before he was released.
The 15 Pakistani officers from the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary were killed in retaliation for an army operation on Jan. 1 in northwest Pakistan that killed several militants, including a prominent commander, according to a statement from the Pakistani Taliban.
It alleged that troops also killed a woman and arrested others, "something that was forbidden and illegitimate in Islam as well as against tribal traditions."
Their bodies were dumped in Shiwa town in the North Waziristan region, said local residents Sada-u-Alla and Salam Khan. Local Frontier Constabulary commander Ali Sher said his men were sent to the area to pick up the corpses.
The insurgents kidnapped them during a Dec. 22 attack on a Pakistani security base in the border region.
In recent months, some militant commanders and intelligence officials have claimed peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, one of the largest and most brutal militant groups, were under way. But other Pakistani Taliban commanders have dismissed this, and sporadic attacks have continued.
Tribal leaders and analysts speculate that the group, which has been pounded by Pakistani army offensives and American missile strikes over the last few years, is riven with internal splits.
Also today, the Taliban freed 17 Pakistani boys after holding them for four months in neighboring Afghanistan, said Islam Zeb, a government administrator in Pakistan's troubled Bajur tribal region.
He said others were still in the custody of Taliban, who seized a group of 40 boys in September. The boys went to Afghanistan's Kunar province when a man invited them to play in a river there.
The Taliban earlier freed captives under the age of 12.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising?
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, photographer claims
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Central London based firm loo...
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£14400 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a multi-d...
£34000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of Energy Consult...