Pakistan launches operation for release of six abducted employees


Islamabad : The political administration of South Waziristan tribal agency, bordering Afghanistan, has launched an operation and was negotiating with local Taliban militants to seek the release of six abducted local employees of a foreign firm, building dam in the troubled region, said officials Tuesday.

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Six local employees of a Chinese company, building Gomal Zam dam in the agency, were abducted on Sunday night when they were returning back to Tank town from the construction site in an official vehicle, security officials told KUNA.

Officials said that the political administration has formed a tribal Jirga which was holding negotiations with the militants to seek early release of employees. They added that a house-to-house search operation has also been launched in this regard.

However, officials said, no success has been achieved so far.

The construction work on the Gomal Zam dam was suspended in 2004 following the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Abdullah Mehsud.

In a commando operation one Chinese engineer was rescued safely while another was killed along with five persons.

The Chinese firm resumed work in April 2007 to complete the remaining work after authorities ensured it of stringent security arrangements.

Having a height of 437 feet, the Gomal Zam dam is located on the Gomal river, which is one of the significant tributaries of the Indus river. It will be a roller-compacted concrete dam having a gross storage of 1.14 MAF and will produce 17.4mw of electricity.