Taliban militants kidnap army officer, 3 others in Pakistan

A group of pro-Taliban militants kidnapped an army officer, two of his guards and a government official near an army base in northwestern Pakistan, officials said Saturday. The four men were seized late Friday in Ladha, a town in the troubled South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, where Pakistani forces have carried out scores of operations against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in recent years. No one claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, and a security official in the area, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his job, said officers and tribal elders were trying to ensure the release of the kidnapped men. The official identified the kidnapped officer as Lt. Col. Mohammed Shahid, but provided no other details. No Pakistan army spokesman was immediately available to comment.