Pakistani soldier killed rescuing UN workers: officials
17 hours ago
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — Pakistani troops rescued two UN employees from kidnappers in a lawless tribal area on Monday after a clash that left one soldier dead, officials said.
About six heavily armed men intercepted a World Food Programme (WFP) vehicle on its way from Peshawar to the town of Jamrud in the rugged Khyber region bordering Afghanistan, said local official Rahat Khan.
"They seized the pair and fled into the mountains. Police and paramilitary soldiers gave a chase and a clash erupted near a check post in Landi Kotal district," Khan told AFP.
Another official requesting anonymity said one soldier died and five others were wounded in the firefight, which lasted about one hour.
UN security official Angelito Bermudz confirmed the incident, saying the staff had been rescued unharmed.
"Two WFP employees were abducted and local administration officials confirmed they have been recovered," he told AFP.
The incident was the latest in a series of recent abductions in the area.
Unknown militants are holding Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, who was kidnapped in the same area in February.
The envoy appeared Saturday in a video aired by Al-Arabiya news channel in which he said that he was held by the Taliban.
Pakistani forces have fought increasingly fierce battles against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the tribal belt since 2003.
AFP: Pakistani soldier killed rescuing UN workers: officials