Asia

Pakistan teenager rescued after kidnap by fake Facebook friend

  • 27 May 2013
  • From the section Asia
Karachi security - file photo from 2002
Kidnapping is a common tactic in Karachi, one of Pakistan's most violent cities

A 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped in the Pakistani city of Karachi after being lured into a meeting via Facebook has been rescued, police say.

Police said that a criminal gang masqueraded as an online gaming friend and abducted him after arranging to meet him last week. The gang demanded a $500,000 (£330,447) ransom.

Kidnapping is a tactic frequently used by militants and criminals in Pakistan.

But cases involving the use of social media to lure children are rare.

The gang first made contact with the boy online months ago, police are quoted as saying in local media reports.

He is reported to be the son of a senior customs official in the city.

Police said they used mobile phone records to track the kidnappers, according to AFP.

Four of the kidnappers were killed in the operation to rescue the boy, media reports say.

The boy's mother made an emotional plea to other parents to supervise their children's use of social media:

"This is my request to all the parents to never let their children make friendship on Facebook.

"I beg you for God's sake that you never do," she is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

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