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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
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