Czech women tourists kidnapped in Pakistan
Suspected militants disguised as security personnel kidnapped two Czech women tourists on their way to India from Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, according to media reports today.
The women, identified in the reports as Hana Humpaloia and Antonie Chrastecka, were abducted by men wearing paramilitary uniforms from an area near the border with Iran yesterday.
They had entered the southwest province from Iran to travel to India via Quetta and Lahore, officials told the media.
They were travelling through Chagai district, 550 km from the provincial capital of Quetta, when they were abducted.
"Some 12 armed men stopped the bus carrying the Czech tourists in Nok Kundi area of Chagai district and drove them away to an unknown place along with their guard," a police official was quoted as saying on the website of Newsweek Pakistan.
"The kidnappers then confiscated the guard's weapons and set him free but there is no word on the tourists," the official said.
Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the abductions.
Kidnappings, militant attacks and sectarian violence are common in Balochistan, where the Taliban and other groups are active.
In July 2011, a Swiss couple was kidnapped from Loralai district of Balochistan and later found in the custody of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in Waziristan. The couple reportedly managed to escape in March 2012.
Several traders of the minority Hindu community have also been kidnapped for ransom in Balochistan.