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Eight Workers On Dam Project Kidnapped In South Waziristan

A file photo shows a Pakistani Army soldier standing guard as internally displaced persons from South-Waziristan tribal areas where the Pakistani Army has been engaged in a full-scale military operation, prepare to return.

Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped eight government employees in Pakistan's troubled northwest while they were heading to inspect a dam under construction, officials said.

The incident took place on March 10 in the Toi Khula area of South Waziristan, a tribal district along the Afghan border. The gunmen took the workers to an unknown location.

Zafrul Islam, the top government official in South Waziristan, told AFP that the director of the Chao Tangi dam project, two geologists, and other technical staff were among those kidnapped.

A search operation was launched to locate the abductors. No group has claimed responsibility.

South Waziristan has been home to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The Taliban blew up a girls school there in February because they oppose female education.

Pakistan's army stepped up its offensive against militants in the region last year after the Taliban's massacre of 153 people, mostly children, at an army-run school in Peshawar.

Based on reporting by AFP,, and BBC