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September 01, 2011

Militants Kidnap 30 Pakistani Boys in Afghanistan

Local Pakistani officials say suspected Taliban militants have abducted more than 30 Pakistani boys who mistakenly crossed into neighboring Afghanistan.

Officials say the boys, between the ages of 10 and 18, were kidnapped Thursday after crossing from Pakistan's Bajaur tribal region into eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province.

The boys were reportedly taking part in an outing when they inadvertently strayed across the border into Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said militants seized some 40 boys, but those under age 12 were allowed to return to their villages.  Tribal elders were reportedly negotiating with the captors to free the remaining children.

Authorities in Afghanistan's Kunar province said they had no reports of such an incident but are investigating.

The porous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a known safe haven for al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants.

Last month, Pakistani leaders protested deadly cross-border attacks on Pakistan's tribal region by militants who crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.