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2 Foreign nationals kidnapped in Pak

January 19, 2012 23:29 IST

Two foreigners, an Italian and a German, were kidnapped by unidentified armed men from Multan district of Pakistan's Punjab province on Thursday, police said.

The foreigners were abducted at gun point by three men in a car from Western Fort Colony at Qasim Bela near Kot Addu, 400 km from Lahore, a senior police official told PTI.

The German national, identified only as 45-year-old Burnd, and the 38-year-old Italian, identified only as Giovanni, worked for the Non-Governmental Organisation Welthungerhilfe as project director and administrator respectively.

The police official, who did not wish to be named, said Giovanni arrived in Multan today and then travelled to Kot Addu with Burnd in connection with a flood rehabilitation programme being implemented by the NGO.

"Both the foreigners were present at the site when three armed men abducted them," the official said. He said the NGO had been working in flood-affected areas since September 2010.

Another police official told PTI that the possibility that the foreigners had been picked up by intelligence operatives for questioning could not be ruled out. Kidnappers made them wear shalwar kameez and then took them away to an undisclosed location.

In August last year, unidentified gunmen abducted American national Warren Weinstein and Shahbaz Taseer, the son of slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, from Lahore.

They are now believed to be in the captivity of the Taliban.

Weinstein was the country head for J E Austin Associates, a US-based consulting firm that was associated with USAID projects in Pakistan.

M Zulqernain in Lahore