Canada seeks release of kidnap victim in Pakistan

Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:45am EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada and Pakistan are working together to seek the release of a Canadian citizen kidnapped in Pakistan this week, Ottawa said on Friday.

"The government is aware of the kidnapping of a Canadian citizen and we're engaged with Pakistani authorities to seek her safe and early release," said Lisa Monette, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Monette would not confirm the person's identity but Pakistan's English-language daily The News International reported the abduction on Tuesday of a Canadian journalist named Beverly Giesbrecht, also known as Khadija Abdul Qahaar.

The woman was seized at gunpoint along with her translator and guide while traveling in Pakistan's northern tribal region to gather material for a documentary, the paper said.

She was reported to have been in the Bannu district of northwest Pakistan, near Afghanistan.

The report comes less than a week after another Canadian journalist, Canadian Broadcasting Corp reporter Mellissa Fung, was freed after 28 days in captivity in Afghanistan.

In an interview after her release, Fung said she had been freed in exchange for the release of relatives of her chief abductor, members of a criminal gang and not the Taliban.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson)