Two aid workers kidnapped in Pakistan

Story highlights

  • The workers were helping flood victims
  • They lived in a secure neighborhood
  • The kidnapping of foreigners is a growing trend in Pakistan

At least three gunmen have kidnapped two foreign aid workers in Punjab Province in central Pakistan, police said Friday.

The aid workers, one German and one Italian, had just returned to their home Thursday in Multan after helping victims of the 2010 flood in the outskirts of the city when the gunmen forced their way inside, said Muhammad Iqbal, a police official.

The kidnapping took place inside a military cantonment, an enclosed community that houses mostly military offices but some civilian homes.

Security is usually high in cantonments and residents can only come and go by showing their identification at security check posts. Iqbal says it is not clear how the kidnappers managed to get by at least three check posts and reach their victims' home.

The two aid workers had not notified authorities that they were working and living in the cantonment as required by Pakistani law, Iqbal said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, police say.

The kidnapping of foreigners is a growing trend in Pakistan.

Last year, al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of American aid worker Warren Weinstein in Lahore and a Swiss couple in Balochistan. But most of the kidnappings are done by criminal gangs looking to make money by demanding a ransom, authorities say.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.