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Pakistani Taliban say they have Swiss tourists

world Updated: Jul 29, 2011 16:31 IST

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The Pakistani Taliban's number two commander says his group has custody of two kidnapped Swiss tourists, and that it will free them if the US releases an imprisoned female Pakistani scientist.

The Swiss pair were abducted in the southwest Baluchistan province earlier this month.

Taliban commander Waliur Rehman spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday in South Waziristan, a northwest tribal region.

He says his group ordered the kidnapping in order to gain freedom for Aafia Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated mother of three who is serving 86 years in an American jail for trying to kill U.S. officials in Afghanistan.

Rehman says the Swiss have not been tortured.

But he says that if Siddiqui is not freed, a Taliban court will decide the fate of the pair.