Taliban seek $3 million for Swiss hostages

Kidnappers holding two Swiss tourists in Pakistan since July are demanding $3 million (SFr2.67 million) to release the pair, SonntagsZeitung newspaper has reported.

This content was published on October 16, 2011 - 18:30

The Taliban group is also calling for the release of 100 of its fighters behind bars in Pakistan, the report said, citing local sources in Islamabad.

The newspaper said the new demands gave grounds for hope because the group had previously called for the liberation of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced to 86 years jail in the United States for shooting at American troops.

The Swiss couple – a policeman from Bern and his partner who is a former policewoman – were kidnapped as they passed through the sparsely-populated Pakistani province of Belochistan on their way back from a road trip to India.

Since 2008, Switzerland has advised against non-essential travel to Pakistan, citing risks including the threat of kidnapping.

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