Pakistani security forces are searching for six local footballers kidnapped in the southwest of the country, the interior minister announced.
The players were kidnapped on Saturday from Dera Bugti district of Balochistan province while they were on their way to participate in a tournament.
“The entire area has been cordoned off,” Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said in a statement released Sunday.
“All available resources are being used to find the hostages,” he assured.
Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest, least populated and poorest province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has been rocked intermittently for decades by a separatist rebellion.
The province is rich in hydrocarbons and minerals, but its population – around 12 million inhabitants – complains of being marginalized and despoiled of its natural resources.