QUETTA - Unknown gunmen abducted an employee of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in the provincial capital on Thursday.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Operations Nazir Kurd confirming the incident said that Dr Khalil Dale, a British national was going to his office in Chaman Housing scheme when unidentified armed men intercepted his vehicle and drove him away towards an undisclosed location at gun-point.

‘Abductors were already waiting for the ICRC official near the office and intercepted his vehicle when he reached near them’, Kurd said, adding, that the abductors left behind the vehicle and driver of ICRC official. He said that ICRC had been offered security, but they had refused it by saying that it was against their mandate as the organisation worked for victims regardless of their nationality and background.

Chaman Housing Scheme is a high security zone in Quetta where offices of all the international organisations are located.

It may be recalled here that chief of UNHCR in Balochistan John Solecki was also abducted from the same area in 2009 and defunct Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF) had claimed responsibility for his abduction and demanded for the release of missing Baloch political workers, including women allegedly jailed in government agencies secret cells.

Four health workers, including two doctors, were kidnapped in December last from Pishin area of Balochistan, 60 km away from Quetta.

They were freed after a shoot-out between police and their kidnappers.

Similarly, a Swiss couple, Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 28,

 were also abducted in July 2011 while travelling in Balochistan’s Loralai district, 170 kilometres east of Quetta.

Police has registered a case of this incident and started investigations.

In a statement, Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Muhammad Aslam

 Raisani strongly condemned the incident of kidnapping of a humanitarian foreign staff member and directed the police to make all efforts for his safe and sound recovery.

On the other hand, in its statement, the ICRC announced to continue humanitarian work in Pakistan despite the abduction of one of its staff members and called for rapid and unconditional release of its kidnapped staff member.

It declared that an employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was abducted by unknown armed men.

Health Programme Manager Khalil Rasjed Dale, a British national, was on his way home from work in a clearly-marked ICRC vehicle when he was seized some 200 metres away from his ICRC residence.

The ICRC currently has no indication as to the abductors identities or motives. Dale’s family was informed immediately, the statement added.