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PESHAWAR: Unidentified gunmen on Thursday kidnapped eight Fata Development Authority (FDA) employees in South Waziritan when they were heading to inspect an under construction dam in the area, security officials said.

The incident took place in Toi Khula area of South Waziristan tribal district along the Afghan border where unidentified gunmen intercepted the vehicle of abducted officials and took them to an unknown location.

Zafrul Islam, the top government official in South Waziristan, said project director of Chao Tangi small dam, two geologists and other technical staff of the dam were among those kidnapped at gunpoint.

“Gunmen kidnapped these eight men when they were heading to the dam site,” Islam told AFP.

Related: 120 sites for small dams identified in Fata

Another senior government official confirmed the abduction and told AFP that a search operation has been launched to locate the abductors.

No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Related: Girls' wing of new government school blown up in South Waziristan

Pakistan army stepped up its offensive in the region after the Taliban's massacre of 153 people, mostly children, at an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014, and has killed or pushed hundreds of militants to Afghanistan.