Two aid workers kidnapped in Pakistan

Jan. 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Police said Friday two international aid workers -- a German and an Italian -- have been kidnapped in a central-western Pakistani province.

The two men with World Hunger Help were kidnapped by four masked gunmen at the organization's Qasim Bela location in the Multan district of Punjab Thursday, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

The aid workers -- identified as German Bernd Johannes, 45, and Giovanni Lo Porto, 38, of Sicily, were helping victims of last year's Punjab floods.

The kidnappers forced the men to put on traditional Pakistani clothing and drove them to an unknown location, authorities said.

ANSA said the Italian Foreign Ministry said it was "keeping all channels open" and had been in contact with Porto's family.

An American aid worker, Warren Weinstein, and the son of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer were kidnapped in the Punjabi capital Lahore in August.

The Taliban is believed to be holding the men.

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