Yesterday, Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, disappeared, and it is believed he was abducted. At the same time, masked gunman also kidnapped two technicians from Pakistan's Atomic Energy Agency, which is in charge of the country's nuclear development. These recent abductions are just the latest outcome of fierce fighting between pro-Taliban Islamist militants and government troops in northwest Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities will not confirm any details surrounding the disappearance of Ambassador Azizuddin. Afghan security forces speculate that his capture may be reprisal for the capture of top Taliban leader Mansoor Dadullah, who was was wounded and arrested by Pakistani forces on Monday as well. Some sources report that local Taliban leaders have claimed responsibility for the abduction of the Ambassador Azizuddin, and are willing to exchange the ambassador for Maansoor Dadullah.
It is still unclear whether the atomic technicians were kidnapped by members of a criminal gang, or the Islamic militants. But, the mountainous tribal region, close to the Afghan-Pakistan border, has a strong presence of al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.