[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
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.