Pakistani Police Make Arrests in Kidnapping of American

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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Police in Pakistan say they have arrested three people in connection with the kidnapping of an American in the city of Lahore earlier this month.

Authorities gave little detail about the arrests Wednesday, but they confirmed the suspects were part of a network involved in the abduction of development expert Warren Weinstein. The 70-year-old U.S. citizen was snatched from his home August 14 by eight gunmen after they overpowered security guards.

Last week, authorities released a sketch of a suspect in the case. They have been questioning Weinstein's three security guards and driver, but it is not clear whether they were connected to the arrests.

So far, the kidnappers have not contacted authorities or made any ransom requests.

Kidnappings for ransom are fairly common in Pakistan, and foreigners are occasional targets.

Weinstein served as director in Pakistan of a U.S.-based development consulting company, J.E. Austin Associates. The president of the company has issued an appeal for his release, saying friends and family are concerned about Weinstein's health.

Last month, a Swiss couple was kidnapped in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan. Pakistani Taliban militants have announced they are holding the couple. In exchange for the couple's release, they have demanded that the U.S. release a Pakistani scientist jailed in the United States.