Scores of kidnapped Pakistani students and staff from a military-run college who were abducted by Taliban in the northwest of the country were rescued on Tuesday, a military spokesman said.
The abduction took place on Monday as the Pakistani army pressed on with an offensive against the Taliban in the Swat valley, in another part of the northwest.
The Taliban were taking the kidnapped students to South Waziristan when soldiers challenged them on a road and a clash erupted, said military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas.
“Under cover of the firing the militants escaped and we have recovered them all,” Abbas said.
Abbas said 71 students and nine members of staff had been rescued. Taliban fighters with hand grenades seized the students’ convoy heading home for the summer holiday from the North Waziristan ethnic Pashtun region, on the Afghan border, to the town of Bannu, 240 km southwest of Islamabad.
Bannu police chief Iqbal Marwat said on Monday that Taliban had seized up to 400 people in 28 vehicles but scores had escaped.