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Gunmen kidnap two Pakistani U.N. staff members from Karachi

  • Supporters of Pakistan's former president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf shout slogans during their leader's telephonic address outside his farmhouse, Friday, April 18, 2014 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Musharraf has been indicted for high treason by a special court and the government barred him to leave the country. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD: Gunmen have kidnapped two men working for the U.N. Children's Fund from Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, police said Saturday.

The two Pakistani men were on their way to a bus terminal to pick up some relatives when they were taken, the police official said. The men were taken Thursday night, he said.

So far, no ransom call had been received, he said, and it was unclear who was holding the men. The police officer asked not to be named since he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A spokeswoman for the U.N. Children's Fund, also known as UNICEF, was not available to comment.

The port city of Karachi is Pakistan's financial heart and home to 18 million people. Many neighborhoods are considered Taliban strongholds, including the area of Shorab Goth, which is near where the men were taken.

In February, gunmen kidnapped three Pakistani men working for the U.N.'s World Health Organization in the northwestern town of Tank. They are still being held.

Pakistan is plagued by kidnapping gangs. Foreigners and wealthy Pakistanis are frequently targeted and kidnappings are reported on a near-daily basis.

Current hostages include an American aid worker, the son of a former prime minister, the son of a former provincial governor and many professionals such as doctors and lawyers.

Militant groups such as the Taliban often use such kidnappings to raise money for their insurgency.

The Taliban have been fighting for years to overthrow the democratically elected government and impose strict Islamic law on the country of 180 million people.

 
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Summary

Gunmen have kidnapped two men working for the U.N. Children's Fund from Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, police said Saturday.

The port city of Karachi is Pakistan's financial heart and home to 18 million people.

In February, gunmen kidnapped three Pakistani men working for the U.N.'s World Health Organization in the northwestern town of Tank.

The Taliban have been fighting for years to overthrow the democratically elected government and impose strict Islamic law on the country of 180 million people.


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