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Newlywed Swedish man kidnapped in Pakistan

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16:42 CET+01:00
A Swedish businessman has been kidnapped in Pakistan after travelling to the country to get married, newspaper Expressen reported on its website on Saturday.

The 25-year-old disappeared after a walk in the city of Quetta on November 7th, the report said. One day later, the man's brother received a call from the kidnappers, who demanded a ransom for his release.

"He has now been sold to another criminal group. They are demanding a ransom of 5 million rupees (401,840 kronor, $58,205)," local police chief Ahmed Abidnotkhani told Expressen on Saturday.

Sweden's foreign ministry has confirmed to news agency TT that a Swede has been kidnapped in Pakistan and that the Swedish embassy in Islamabad is in contact with local authorities.

Last Thursday, Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan Ulrika Sundberg met with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, the report said, adding that the foreign ministry declined to comment on what was said at the meeting.

"We are in contact with local authorities," Sara Brandt-Hansen of the foreign ministry's press service told Expressen on Saturday.

Attempts by the foreign ministry to free the man so far have been unsuccessful, the report said.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province. It is close to the Afghanistan border and a known al-Qaeda stronghold and haven for the terrorist organisation's leaders. Several UN employees and journalists have been kidnapped or killed in the city.

It is also only 60 kilometres south of the epicentre of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that took place in 2008.

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