MIRANSHAH: A Swiss couple held captive by the Pakistani Taliban for over eight months were on Thursday recovered safely, claiming they escaped their captors in the lawless tribal belt, the army said.
Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 28, were abducted at gunpoint on July 1 in Balochistan, apparently on holiday.
Their blue Volkswagen van was found abandoned in Loralai district, around 170 kilometres (100 miles) east of Quetta.
"They are safe and sound. We shifted them to Peshawar," army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP, referring to the northwestern city close to the Al-Qaeda infested tribal belt where they were found early Thursday.
"They told us that they escaped and then they reported to our checkpost. That's what they told intelligence agencies currently debriefing them."
The Pakistani Taliban claimed the abduction in July, demanding that they be exchanged for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuro-scientist sentenced in 2010 in New York for the attempted murder of US government agents in Afghanistan.
But the details surrounding the couple's recovery were unclear.
Pakistani officials speaking to AFP before it emerged the couple claimed to have escaped, had not been able to say whether any ransom had been paid or demands from the Taliban had been accepted. (AFP)