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Taliban offer proof they have Swiss hostages

The Taliban in Pakistan have clearly demonstrated they are currently detaining two Swiss citizens kidnapped in July, say specialists.

According to the Geneva Center for Training and Analysis of Terrorism, pictures taken of the hostages’ passports and broadcast by the Al Arabyia television network earlier this week are formal proof.

The Center said in a statement on its website that there were, however, errors in the information relayed by Al Arabyia. The television report said that the two Swiss were self-defence experts and working for a Western security company.

The two hostages are in fact a Bern policeman and his partner - herself a former policewoman. The analysts said this error increased the risks for the two Swiss and could lead to heightened demands from the kidnappers.

Al Arabyia also stated, without providing a source, that the Taliban were collaborating with al-Qaeda.

The Pakistan Taliban Movement took the Swiss hostage on July 29 and are demanding the liberation of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced to 86 years jail in the United States for shooting at American troops.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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