herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Kidnappers demand £100k

A five-year-old British boy was kidnapped today after his relatives were ambushed by gunmen in Pakistan.

Sahil Saeed, believed to be from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was snatched this morning from a house in the Punjab region.

His father, Raja Naqqash Saeed, said the kidnappers are demanding a £100,000 ransom for his safe return.

The robbers held the family at gunpoint throughout the night after breaking in at 11pm local time, a spokesman for the British High Commission in Islamabad said. They eventually fled with the boy and household items, believed to be jewellery and money.

Mr Saeed said robbers armed with guns and hand grenades broke into the house in Jhelum, where the boy was on holiday.

He added: "They took my son. They were fully loaded with guns and hand grenades. All Pakistan police know about this, and the British Council."

He added: "(The kidnappers) are going to ring me. I don't know what they are going to say to me -- I don't have that much money."

The family had been due to fly back to Britain today, the commission spokesman added.

Officials are in touch with the boy's family and local authorities are investigating the snatch, he added.

He said: "We cannot confirm details of the ransom amount but the father has said it is £100,000. All I can say is that we are in touch with the family and the local authorities are currently investigating."

The kidnappers have reportedly given Mr Saeed until midday local time to get the money.

The boy was believed to have been staying with his grandmother when he was taken.

hnews@herald.ie

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