South Asia

British aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan

Khalil Rasjed Dale
Mr Dale was taken from outside an ICRC residence in Quetta, police said

A British aid worker, originally from Dumfries, has been kidnapped in south-west Pakistan, local police have said.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, who works for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was taken by gunmen from a vehicle outside an ICRC residence in Quetta, Baluchistan.

The ICRC said Mr Dale had a British passport, and his family had been informed immediately.

The Foreign Office said it was investigating reports of the incident.

The kidnapping happened in a designated secure "red zone" at the centre of the city.

A statement from the ICRC said Mr Dale, a health programme manager, was on his way home from work in a clearly-marked ICRC vehicle when he was seized about 200m away from an ICRC residence.

"The ICRC currently has no indication as to the abductors' identities or motives," it said.

Local police said his fellow passenger - a Pakistani doctor - and a driver were not seized, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Quetta, close to the border with Afghanistan and to Pakistan's troubled tribal areas, has been beset with problems of militancy.

There is known to be a Taliban presence there, but there has also been violence connected to the separatist movement in Balochistan.

The Foreign Office currently advises against "all but essential" travel to Quetta .

Advice on its website warns of a "heightened risk from kidnapping and militant activity" in much of Balochistan.

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