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Official: Swiss couple kidnapped in southwest Pakistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Official: The couple was grabbed at gunpoint
  • The couple registered at a police checkpoint, official says
  • They were kidnapped in Loralai, the official says
  • No group immediately claimed responsibility

(CNN) -- A Swiss couple has been kidnapped while traveling in Pakistan's volatile southwestern Balochistan province, an official said Saturday.

The couple was grabbed at gunpoint Friday while traveling in the town of Loralai, said Sohail Rehman Baloch, a senior provincial administration official.

Locals witnessed the kidnapping of the two, who had been headed to the city of Quetta, Baloch said.

Police have the couple's driver's licenses and passports, and learned that the people were Swiss from information on their licenses and hotel bills.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in a region dominated by ethnic Pashtun people.

A search was under way, with four teams looking for the couple, Baloch said. Police have asked local tribesmen to help find the couple.

The couple entered the province from Dera Ghazi Khan in the Punjab District and registered themselves as husband and wife at a police checkpoint, Baloch said.

It was not immediately known what they were doing in the area.

Telephone calls by CNN to the Swiss General Consulate in Karachi, the Swiss Embassy in Islamabad and the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern were not answered.