11 Pakistani workers kidnapped in Iraq released

Eleven Pakistani workers, who were kidnapped in Iraq by unidentified men on Aug. 13, had been freed and they would return to Kuwait within the next 24 hours, Foreign Office spokesman Naeem Khan said on Monday.

"We have just been informed by the Kuwaiti company that all 11 Pakistanis have been freed," Khan told the weekly news briefing.

The freed Pakistanis were currently in Iraqi's southern port city of Basra and would proceed to neighboring Kuwait within the next 24 hours for their onward journey to Pakistan, the spokesman added.

Earlier reports suggest that the Pakistani workers were hired by a Kuwaiti construction company, Al-Hamrah, and were sent to Iraq a week ago, but they had not reached their destination.

They were traveling by bus from Basra to the Iraqi capital Baghdad when they were kidnapped near the southern city of Nasaryia, together with three Egyptians and two Indians.

The Indians were also released, said the spokesman.

Two Pakistani workers were killed in Iraq by local insurgents in July last year. Several other Pakistanis including an embassy official have been kidnapped in the past two years in Iraq and later released.

Pakistan has asked its nationals not to travel to Iraq because of security problem.

Source: Xinhua

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