Click to join an upcoming live event

Turn off Ads (click)

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
Travel News

Pakistan hunts French tourist’s kidnappers

Written by editor

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police hunted Sunday for a French tourist kidnapped in the country’s restive southwest but an officer said they still did not know who was behind the abduction.

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police hunted Sunday for a French tourist kidnapped in the country’s restive southwest but an officer said they still did not know who was behind the abduction.

Gunmen on Saturday snatched the 41-year-old man from a group of French nationals travelling in Baluchistan province — on the border with both Afghanistan and Iran.

He was kidnapped in an area where ethnic Baluch separatist groups and Islamist fighters linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are known to operate, around 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Afghan frontier.

“We have sent different teams to locate the kidnappers and recover the French tourist,” local police officer Meerullah, who goes by one name, told AFP from the town of Dal Bandin, near the site of the abduction.

“We don’t know who the kidnappers are, what their motive is. We have not yet received any demand. We have really no idea about the kidnappers.”

Meerullah said police, the paramilitary Frontier Corps and an anti-terrorism unit had been deployed to look for the Frenchman.

“We are quite hopeful the abductors will be traced and the hostage will be released,” he added.

The group of French tourists were travelling in two vehicles, one containing a woman, a man and children aged two and five. Two men travelled in the other vehicle.

Six kidnappers armed with Kalashnikovs stopped the vehicle containing the two French men near the town of Landi, police said, seizing the 41-year-old but leaving the other man because he was handicapped.

Police in the area had earlier said the group was comprised of two women, two men and two children.

Meerullah said the tourists were heading for Iran. They were in an area which foreign embassies say is not safe for travel.

The abduction comes seven weeks after an American UN official was released following a two-month hostage ordeal in Baluchistan that was claimed by a shadowy Baluch rebel group trying to extract concessions from the government.

Hundreds of people have died in the oil and gas-rich province since late 2004, when rebels rose up to demand political autonomy and a greater share of profits from natural resources.

The province has also been hit by attacks blamed on Taliban militants.

The February 2 kidnapping of John Solecki, who headed the UN refugee agency in Quetta, was the most high-profile Western kidnapping in Pakistan since US journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded by Al-Qaeda militants in 2002.

A shadowy organisation claiming to hold Solecki, the Baluchistan Liberation United Front (BLUF), had threatened to kill him unless the government freed more than 1,100 “prisoners” but he was eventually released unharmed on April 4.