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Militants kidnap filmmaker and former intel officials

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Pakistani militants demand release of Afghan Taliban leaders
  • Ex-spy agency workers were guides for filmmaker
  • They are seen on videos identifying themselves
  • Pakistan
  • The Taliban

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Militants in Pakistan have kidnapped a Pakistani filmmaker and two former Pakistani intelligence officials and are demanding the release of three Afghan Taliban leaders in return for the release of the three hostages, an Afghan Taliban source said Monday.

The source e-mailed CNN videos of the two former intelligence officials, Khalid Khawaja and retired Col. Sultan Amir Tarar. The source said they would be killed if Afghan Taliban leaders Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Abdul Kabir and Mullah Mansour Dadullah were not released in 10 days.

Baradar was the No. 2 man in the Afghan Taliban behind Mullah Mohammed Omar before he was captured in Pakistan in February.

Khawaja and Tarar are former members of the ISI, Pakistan's top spy agency. The two were acting as guides for filmmaker Asad Qureshi, who was working on a documentary on militants in Pakistan's tribal region.

Khawaja's son said the three had been missing since March 26. Two video clips show Khawaja and Tarar identifying themselves while sitting in front of a white sheet and holding the front page of an Urdu-language newspaper. It's not clear what the date of the newspaper is.

In one video, Tarar says, "I was in the army for 18 years and then 11 years in the ISI. On the way here I sought the counsel of Gen. Baig."

In the other video, Khawaja says, "I was in the air force for 18 years, of which two years were with the ISI, and I am here because [of] Gen. Hamid Gul, Gen. Aslam Baig and the ISI's Col. Sajjat."

Gen. Hamid Gul, known as "the father of the Taliban," served as head of the ISI in the 1980s, during the Afghan war against the Soviets. Hamid Gul's son, Abdullah Gul, acknowledged that his father knows the two men but denied that his father sent them to the tribal region.

Gen. Aslam Baig is a former army chief who served after Gen. Zia ul-Haq died in the late 1980s.

It was not clear who Col. Sajjat is.

CNN's Reza Sayah in Islamabad and journalist Nasir Dawar in Peshawar, Pakistan, contributed to this report.