South Asia

Militants kidnap 34 Pakistan miners in Khyber

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Militants have kidnapped 34 miners and labourers in Pakistan's tribal district of Khyber, officials say.

The men were abducted on Wednesday night in the Khalakhel area 15km (nine miles) from the north-western city of Peshawar, police say.

No group has said it was behind the abductions but local authorities suspect the involvement of the Pakistani Taliban.

Security forces have launched a search operation in the area.

BBC Urdu's Rifatullah Orakzai in Peshawar says that local tribes recently set up an anti-Taliban militia to stop militants from entering the area.

Pakistani security forces too launched operations to demolish Taliban compounds and homes, our correspondent says.

Last month the Taliban abducted 25 Pakistani boys in the Bajaur tribal area close to the Afghan border. They are still believed to be in Taliban custody.