PESHAWAR: A splinter group of Hakeemullah Mehsud faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has kidnapped a Chinese tourist from Dera Ismail Khan district.
Hong xu Dong was travelling from Lahore to Balochistan via Khyber Paktunkhwa when he was kidnapped from the Daraban area of Dera Ismail Khan district bordering South Waziristan on Monday.
Officials said the man was apparently passing through the area by bike when he was taken.
Police recovered the cycle of the missing tourist from Garah Mehmood, along with some of his belongings.
“We have recovered his bicycle and his travelling bag and have registered a case of kidnapping,” said police official Salim Khan.
Abdullah Bahar, who claimed to be a commander of the Hakimullah Mehsud faction of TTP splinter group led by Sheryar Mehsud, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
“We have kidnapped the Chinese national and we claim responsibility for it,” he said.
Bahar said that the Chinese tourist was abducted to force authorities in Islamabad to release TTP fighters in their custody. “Hong xu Dong has been shifted to a safe area and is in the custody of TTP’s Shehryar Mehsud group.” He told AFP that the man had been taken to a secret location on the Afghan border.
The Chinese embassy in Islamabad could not be reached for comment, but in its report on the kidnapping China’s state news agency Xinhua said an official had said the mission was ‘contacting Pakistan’s relevant departments to verify the incident’.
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