Chinese tourist abducted by Taliban in northwest Pakistan

The Pakistani Taliban are holding a Chinese tourist they have kidnapped for ransom according to police sources and senior Taliban commander Abdullah Bahar

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 10:37pm

The Pakistani Taliban have kidnapped a Chinese tourist on a cycling tour of the country, police and Taliban sources said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of abductions aimed at raising money for rival Taliban factions.

The man, whose name and passport details were supplied to reporters, was kidnapped on Monday in Daraban, near the western city of Dera Ismail Khan.

Abdullah Bahar, a senior Taliban commander, told reporters the man was in their custody.

“We kidnapped the Chinese tourist. He is now in our hands,” he said. “We will demand the release of our fighters who are in government custody.”

Daraban police said they were searching for the man.

Kidnaps are on the rise in Pakistan, although it is unusual for Chinese to be targeted. Gunmen in January shot dead six guards protecting a Spanish round-the-world cyclist in a remote area of western Pakistan. He escaped unhurt, his family said.

The Pakistani Taliban, who are seeking to set up an Islamic state, has split over tribal rivalries, control of extortion revenue, peace talks with the government, and who should succeed leaders killed by US drone strikes.

The organisation is allied to but not the same as the Afghan Taliban, which has repeatedly called on its Pakistani allies to resolve its differences.