Kidnapped BBC reporter found unharmed

BBC Urdu Service reporter Dilawar Khan-Wazir turned up shaken, but unharmed, at the BBC's Islamabad office on Tuesday evening after being kidnapped by a gang. Khan-Wazir was traveling home after visiting his brother in Islamabad when he was seized from a taxi by six or seven men and bundled into another vehicle, blindfolded and questioned about his reporting and sources. He did not know who his kidnappers were. Khan-Wazir is one of the few local journalists reporting on the Pakistani army's fight with pro-Taliban militants in the troubled Waziristan region on the Afghan border. He said: "Unknown people took me from the taxi, blindfolded me, slapped and kicked me, and then took me to an unknown place. They kept me in a dark room and kept my blindfolds on. "They were asking different questions… how did I come here, what kind of reporting I do?" He was held for more than 24 hours and then left in a quiet wooded area outside Islamabad on Tuesday evening. He made his way by taxi to the BBC office, about a 25-minute drive away. The BBC World Service director, Nigel Chapman, had written to the Pakistan Interior Ministry to ask for urgent help in tracing Kahn-Wazir.

Chapman said in his letter: "I am seriously concerned for the whereabouts of our reporter and would request your kind help in tracing him. I would be very grateful for your support in this matter."

Last year, Khan-Wazir escaped a bomb attack on his house, while in January 2005, he survived with only minor injuries after a group of gunmen opened fire on journalists travelling in a van from a press event. Two of the reporters he was travelling with were killed.

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