BERN, SWITZERLAND – A Swiss couple captured by the Taliban 1 July 2011 as they were traveling in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region escaped and presented themselves to a Pakistan army post, a Pakistan general says. Olivier Och, 31, who is a police officer in canton Bern and Daniela Widmer, 28, a former police officer, have been taken to Peshawar the army announced Thursday. The couple were traveling privately through Pakistan as part of a long overland trip through Asia.
The Swiss government has discouraged travel for tourism in Pakistan since 2008.
Their captors said earlier they had released the couple, but that information now appears to be false. They were taken in by the army near Spilga village in North Waziristan. Their kidnapping took place in the Loralai area, east of Quetta.
The Swiss Foreign Affairs Department and the embassy are not commenting and details about the escape or the expected return of the couple are still sketchy, reports RTS.
Dawn.com in Pakistan quotes spokesman Major General Athar Abbas as saying to news agency AFP, “They are safe and sound. We shifted them to Peshawar,” adding that “they told us that they escaped and then they reported to our checkpost. That’s what they told intelligence agencies currently debriefing them in Peshawar.”