At least six footballers in Pakistan have been kidnapped by some unidentified people from the Jani Bair area of the Dera Bugti district on Saturday (September 9) in the southwestern province of Balochistan.
Local officials said that the players were on their way to Sibi from Dera Bugti when they were abducted. The officials have identified five of the six players as Aamir Bugti, Faisal Bugti, Sohail Bugti, Yasar Bugti and Sheraz Bugti.
As quoted by DAWN, Dera Bugti’s deputy commissioner said: “The players were residents of Dera Bugti and Sui. They were going to Sibi to take part in the qualifying round of the All Pakistan Chief Minister Gold Cup football tournament.”
Meanwhile, Jan Achakzai, who is the interim provincial information minister, told Al Jazeera: “All efforts are being utilised to recover the abducted sportsmen and law enforcement officials have already launched a search operation in the area and we are expecting a major breakthrough in the next 24 hours.”
Responding to the current situation, the Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that paramilitary forces have been deployed to conduct an operation to find the players.
He wrote: “FC Balochistan (North) is tirelessly striving to bring back the abducted football players from #DeraBugti. Your prayers are needed. Hoping for safe recovery. InshAllah.”
In a statement late Sunday, Sarfraz Bugti said that “the entire area has been cordoned off” and “all available resources are being utilised for the recovery of the hostages”.
He alleged the abductors belonged to the Baloch Republican Army, a militant group fighting for greater autonomy of Balochistan. “This is a very serious thing that our six kids are in the custody of terrorists,” he said.
Peoples Eye on Twitter: “6 football players have been abducted near Kachi Canal area of district Dera Bugti, Balochistan. The players were heading toward Sibi when armed men kidnapped them. District administration confirmed.#PakArmy #Pakistan #PakistanArmy #Balochistan / Twitter”
6 football players have been abducted near Kachi Canal area of district Dera Bugti, Balochistan. The players were heading toward Sibi when armed men kidnapped them. District administration confirmed.#PakArmy #Pakistan #PakistanArmy #Balochistan