Cadets abducted in Pakistan’s freed

June 4th, 2009 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, June 4 (DPA) More than 40 cadets and staff members from an army-run college who were in Taliban captivity for three days in Pakistan’s troubled north-west have been released, the military said Thursday.
“Forty-six students and two teachers are now in the custody of the security forces,” said Major General Athar Abbas, chief military spokesman.

Scores of students and staff members were seized by Taliban militants Monday when their convoy of minibuses was travelling from the North Waziristan tribal district to the town of Bannu in neighbouring North-West Frontier Province.

Several dozen managed to evade capture, and troops rescued 71 students and nine staff members Tuesday as their abductors tried to move them to the adjoining South Waziristan district, a known Al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary.

Abbas said Thursday that the recently freed students were being transported to Bannu, where the Razmak Cadet College is located.

It was not clear whether the hostages were freed in a military operation, however, government authorities in the lawless region had been working with local tribesmen to secure the students’ release.

Analysts said they believe the kidnappings might be in revenge for the military operation against militants in the north-western Swat Valley.

The military said more than 1,250 militants have so far been killed in the anti-Taliban offensive, which has forced nearly 2.5 million civilians to flee the conflict zones.

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