Swiss couple held 8 months by Taliban free

ISLAMABAD (CBS/AP) -- A Swiss couple held captive by the Taliban in Pakistan since July turned up at an army post close to the Afghan border and was flown to safety on Thursday by the Pakistani military, security officials said.

The Swiss Embassy was not immediately able to confirm the development.

The Swiss man and woman, who were seized in July in southwestern Pakistan, were last seen in a militant video in October, saying their captors were threatening to kill them.

The Pakistani security officials did not say whether the couple had escaped, was freed during an army operation or was released by their captors.

General Athar Abbas, a spokesman for Pakistan's army, tells CBS News Islamabad bureau chief Maria Usman the couple were recovered in North Waziristan, slightly north of where they were abducted in the Balochistan province in July.

The couple was flown to Peshawar, the main city in northwestern Pakistan, by military helicopter, said Abbas.

Militants and criminal gangs often kidnap wealthy Pakistanis and less commonly foreigners.

Large ransoms are often paid to secure their release but such payments are rarely confirmed.


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