Two UN staff members go missing in Pakistan

April 20, 2014 - 6:21:35 pm

KARACHI: Two local employees working for the United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF have gone missing in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi and police said Sunday they are thought to have been kidnapped.

Both disappeared on Thursday, said Vittorio Cammarota, a UN spokesperson, in a statement.

"UNICEF can confirm that two of its national staff went missing on Thursday evening in Karachi. The police are managing the investigation and are in close contact with the families and so is the UNICEF country office," it said.

Police in Karachi suspect the pair were kidnapped.

"It is very possible that they might have been kidnapped," senior police official Javed Alam Odho told AFP on Sunday, adding they were in Karachi for a picnic at a resort on the outskirts of the city.

Muhammad Sammad, another police official, said the wife of one staffer had informed police about the incident and a search had begun.

Karachi, a city of 18 million,is home to Pakistan's stock exchange and contributes 42 percent of the country's GDP. But it is also plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence as well as  kidnapping and other crime.

Criminal gangs run rampage on Karachi's streets, robbing people on an everyday basis, while bank robberies and extortion are frequent occurrences.

Attackers on motorbikes opened fire at Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani television anchor, in the city on Saturday. He was injured but survived. (AFP)

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