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Aid agency workers kidnapped in Balochistan

Aid agency workers kidnapped in Balochistan

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On
Jul 19, 2011 - 17:44

QUETTA (PANinfo-icon): Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped seven workers of an American charity in Pakistaninfo-icon's southwestern Balochistan province, residents and officials said on Tuesday.

Local workers of the American Refugee Committee (ARC) were abducted from a clinic in Pishin district late on Monday, resident Abdul Malik told Pajhwok Afghan News. The captives were taken to the Khanawzai area, he said.

The American NGO has been working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the province since 2002.

Malik said the ARC staffers were kidnapped while returning from distributing food at an Afghan refugee camp in the area. Their vehicle was also snatched.

Dunya Aslam Khan, a spokesman for UNHCR in Balochistan, said:"We have received information about the abduction of seven ARC workers." The victims are local men, according to her.

Local police official Khan Mohammad confirmed the incident, saying a search operation for the captives had been launched, but there had been no clue yet to their whereabouts.

Balochistan has long witnessed a series of kidnappings for ransom. Recently, gunmen had kidnapped John Solecky, the UNHCR head for the province. He was released a few weeks later.

Earlier in the month, two Swedish nationals were kidnapped in the Lorelei area. Their fate is yet to be known.

mbg/mud

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