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Search under way for Pakistan envoy

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistani authorities have launched a search operation in the country’s tribal region for Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, interior ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

All law enforcement agencies in Khyber are carrying out search operations and we hope to recover him soon, Javed Iqbal Cheema said.

Afghan security sources said ambassador Sardar Tariq Azizuddin may have been abducted on Monday as he headed from the Pakistani city of Peshawar to the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the ambassador went missing somewhere along the Kabul-Turkham highway, the only route between Kabul and Peshawar, but he had no further details

The highway runs through Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, also known as the Khyber Agency. It is the same area where two Red Cross workers disappeared earlier this month.

Afghan security sources said Azizuddin went missing near the village of Ali Masjid in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, about 4 miles (7 km) from the Afghan border.

The sources said he never reach the border as expected and his possible kidnapping may be a reprisal for the capture earlier in the day of Mansoor Dadullah.

Dadullah is the brother of slain Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah, who was killed last May in a military operation in southern Afghanistan.

Pakistani security forces on Monday shot and wounded Dadullah, a well-known Taliban operative in southwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border, Pakistani authorities said.

Pakistan’s mountainous tribal region has a strong presence of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Two Pakistani workers with the International Committee of the Red Cross went missing on Feb. 2 along the same Kabul-Turkham highway, which is regularly used to transport relief goods to Afghanistan.

ICRC spokesman Marco Succi said it was unclear if the two men were kidnapped. E-mail to a friend

CNN’s Zein Basravi in Islamabad and journalist Farhad Peikar in Kabul contributed to this report.

Search under way for Pakistan envoy – found here.

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February 12, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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