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Taliban denies responsibility for missing of Pakistani ambassador
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08:30, February 13, 2008

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Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed Tuesday denied responsibility for the reported missing of Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan Tariq Aziz-ud-Din.

Talking to Xinhua via phone from an unknown location, Mujahed said his outfit "can't take" the responsibility, adding that the militant group "has no information" about the incident.

Tariq Aziz-ud-Din, along with his driver and two security guards, left northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar for Afghan capital Kabul on Monday morning, but did not reach the border town of Torkham, according to Pakistani officials.

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq Monday said that the Pakistani envoy might had been kidnapped in Khyber tribal region.

Militants in Pakistan's tribal regions, who preferred being quoted as "Pakistani Taliban" or "local Taliban", have claimed responsibility for the abduction of Tariq Aziz-ud-Din, Pakistan's private News Network International (NNI) news agency reported Tuesday.

The "local Taliban" told the chieftains in Khyber agency to convey their message to the Pakistani government that they agreed to free Tariq Aziz in exchange for Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, an alleged senior officer of the Taliban which was ousted from power in Afghanistan by a late 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

Pakistani military said Mansoor Dadullah was captured after he and a group of fighters encountered Pakistani troops in the southwest province of Baluchistan.

Source: Xinhua

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