[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Kidnapped Swiss couple 'released' in Pakistan
Couple left at military checkpoint near Afghan border in North Waziristan after eight months in captivity.
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2012 10:29
The Swiss Embassy was not immediately able to confirm the development [AFP]

A Swiss couple kidnapped by the Pakistan Taliban in July last year have been released, left at a military checkpoint near the Afghan border in North Waziristan, military and intelligence officials have said.

"They were handed over to military officials in North Waziristan this morning and have been airlifted to a secure location," one military official told Reuters news agency on Thursday.

According to local intelligence sources, the couple was left at a military checkpoint on a main road in Miranshah at about 5:30am local time (0030 GMT) and were then transported to Peshawar by helicopter.

However, AFP news agency said they had escaped their Taliban captors.

The Swiss embassy was not immediately able to confirm the development.

Pakistani media identified the pair as Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 29.

The couple was last seen in a video in October last year, saying their captors were threatening to kill them.

Pakistan's Taliban had claimed responsibility for kidnapping the couple, who were seized from the Loralai district of southwestern province of Baluchistan province on July 1, and had been held by the Taliban ever since.

Kidnapping for ransom is relatively common in Pakistan, although foreigners are not often targets. Armed groups also occasionally take foreigners hostage.

Pakistan Taliban representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
New report highlights plight of domestic helpers in the United Kingdom, with critics comparing it to kefala system.
Kurds say declaring Saddam Hussein's 1988 campaign to be a genocide could help with lawsuits and healing process.
join our mailing list