Sat, 13 Aug 2011 07:44:31 GMT

American kidnapped in Pakistan''s Lahore city



Lahore, Aug 13 (PTI) An American national, working on a development project in Pakistan''s restive tribal region, was kidnapped from his home here early this morning by a group of unidentified men.

The man, identified as Jason Warner, 65, was working on a development project in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

About eight men broke into Warner''s house in Block J of Model Town neighbourhood at 3.30 am and whisked him away, police officials said.

Security guards at Warner''s home were preparing for ''sehri'', the pre-dawn meal in the Islamic holy month of Ramzan, when the kidnappers struck.

The abductors entered the home from the front and rear entrances and assaulted the guards before taking Warner away.

Warner had been in Pakistan for over five years.

He mostly lived in Islamabad and often travelled to Lahore.

Police cordoned off the area after learning of the abduction.

Senior officials, including the Lahore Police chief and operatives of intelligence agencies, visited the crime scene to supervise the investigation.

Check posts were set up across Lahore by police, who also conducted raids at several places as part of efforts to trace the US national.

It could not immediately be ascertained if Warner had been kidnapped for ransom.

Such crimes are common in Pakistan but foreigners are not often targeted by kidnappers.

The Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for kidnapping a Swiss couple in the restive Balochistan province last month.

The militants said the couple could be freed in exchange for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman serving jail term in the US for attacking American security personnel in Afghanistan.

Eight Pakistani employees of the US-based NGO American Refugee Committee were also kidnapped in Balochistan last month. They are yet to be traced.

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