Three of the 10 men abducted last week by unknown armed men from Shaban — a picnic point on the outskirts of Quetta — returned home on Tuesday, officials said.

According to officials, a large number of people went to the Shaban area for picnic last Thursday, during which a group of armed men had encircled the mountains and started checking the national identity cards of the picnickers.

The armed men had separated 14 individuals from the other picnickers after finding Punjab addresses on their identity cards and took them away to an unknown destination.

An eyewitness had said the armed men later released four individuals, but “took away 10 people whose nat­ional identity cards showed addresses in Punjab”.

The banned Baloch Liberation Army had claimed responsibility for the abductions.

Speaking to Dawn.com today, head of the Levies Control room Muhammad Ajmal confirmed that a search operation by the police and Frontier Corps (FC) was ongoing in Shaban and adjacent areas.

Among the abductees who returned home this morning was customs official Baseer Durrani, and Hasan Raza, while the third individual had not been identified, he said.

Ajmal said that the Levies became aware of the three abductees’ return after one of their families notified the Levies Control.

He further noted that a meeting was called by Harnai Deputy Commissioner Arif Kakar to recover the seven other individuals.

Following that, the statements of the recovered individuals would be recorded and legal action taken.

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