Two Swiss kidnapped in southwestern Pakistan

The government has set up a special task force to coordinate efforts to find a Swiss couple kidnapped in western Pakistan on Friday.

This content was published on July 2, 2011 - 17:04 and agencies

The foreign ministry said it had contacted the local authorities in Pakistan as well as the victims’ families in Switzerland.

The ministry recommends Swiss citizens against travelling to Pakistan. It warns of kidnappings and the risk of attacks in the Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab provinces.

The two Swiss were taken at gunpoint by unidentified gunmen about 200km outside the city of Quetta. Their abandoned vehicle was later found in woodlands, according to a local police official.

The Pakistani authorities said they had launched a search operation and requested assistance from local clan leaders.

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, Balochistan province is the scene of a separatist insurgency where criminal gangs have been known to carry out kidnappings for ransom.

It is the first attack on the kind on Swiss citizens in Pakistan, according to the foreign ministry.

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