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Official: American, Pakistani kidnapped, released in Quetta

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: The men were released after several hours
  • The American national was with a Pakistani
  • Both were kidnapped at gunpoint, an official says
  • Quetta
  • Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- An American national and a Pakistani man were released Monday after they were briefly kidnapped by armed men in the city of Quetta, police said Monday.

The men were released after several hours, said senior police official Ahsan Mehboob. They were dropped off on a busy road in a residential area of the city and walked to a public phone to call the police, he said. The two men were unharmed.

The men were stopped earlier Monday after leaving the customs house and kidnapped at gunpoint, Mehboob said. A customs official was left behind and was questioned by police.

Authorities launched a search in Quetta, about 590 miles (952 kilometers) southeast of Islamabad. The area where the abductions took place was cordoned off.

The incident was the second recent kidnapping of an American in Pakistan. On August 20, American Warren Weinstein was kidnapped from his home in Lahore, police said. Weinstein was abducted when gunmen posing as neighbors offered food, then pistol-whipped Weinstein and his driver and tied up his guards, according to U.S. Embassy and Pakistani officials.

Weinstein works for J.E. Austin Associates Inc., a U.S. consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia. He is a world-renowned development expert, according to the company's website.

A police official said August 23 that three suspects had been arrested in Weinstein's kidnapping. He has not been located.

CNN's Shaan Khan contributed to this report.