Taliban Kidnapped 500 From Boys' School: Pakistan

Police said to be negotiating with militants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2009 12:10 PM CDT
Local residents gather at the main bazaar to assess the destruction caused by fighting between Pakistani security forces and Taliban militants in the main town of the troubled Swat Valley yesterday.   (STR)
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(Newser) – Police are negotiating with the Taliban to release hundreds of people abducted in a northwest tribal region, a Pakistani official says. Around 500 students and staff from a boys’ school and their relatives were being held captive today in the militant stronghold of Bakka Khel in North Waziristan, he said. Other officials put the number at around 400.

Suspected militants armed with rockets, grenades, and automatic weapons abducted hundreds who were driving away from the school, police and a witness said. The people were leaving after they were warned to get out in a phone call from a man they believed to be a political official. They were traveling in some 30 vehicles when they were stopped along the road by a large group of alleged militants in their own vehicles.