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British national kidnapped in Pakistan

world Updated: Jan 05, 2012 20:23 IST

PTI
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A British national working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was kidnapped by unidentified armed men in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan on Thursday.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, working as a health programme manager in the ICRC mission, was kidnapped in the capital of Balochistan province, police chief Faisal Mehmood said.

Dale was driving home from work "in a clearly marked ICRC vehicle" when the armed men intercepted his vehicle at 1 pm and took him away to an undisclosed location.

The incident occurred about 200 metres from an ICRC residence.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

The ICRC called for the "rapid and unconditional release" of Dale but said the abduction would not affect its programmes in the country.

"Despite the incident, the ICRC will be continuing its humanitarian work in Pakistan," a spokesperson for the organisation said.

The ICRC has "no indication as to the abductors' identities or motives", the spokesperson said.

Police chief Mehmood said law enforcement agencies had blocked all exit routes of the city to frustrate any attempt to take Dale out of Quetta.

Police and other security agencies are searching for Dale but had not uncovered any clues so far, he said.

The gunmen could try to take Dale to Chaman, a town on the border with Afghanistan, police officials said.

The Balochistan government has provided guards to foreign nationals but some foreigners refused to accept such security and made their own arrangements, Mehmood said.

John Solecki, an American national working for the US, was kidnapped in Quetta in 2009 and The Baloch United Liberation Army had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Solecki was freed after several months in captivity.

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