Taliban hostiges
Swiss nationals Olivier David Och, 31, (L) and Daniela Widmer, 29, wave to the media at a military base in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad March 15, 2012. Reuters

Two Swiss nationals held hostage by the Pakistan Taliban for eight months are now free.

Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 29 -- who appeared at a military checkpoint in North Waziristan on Thursday -- told Pakistani officials that they escaped their captors.

The husband and wife couple has been held since July, when they were captured at gunpoint by the Taliban in the Loralai district of the Balochistan province, just south of the Waziristan region on the border, where the Taliban and other insurgent groups are especially active.

At the time of their capture, Och and Widmer were trying to drive from India to Switzerland. The two were used as a bounty by the Taliban, who said previously that they would free the couple in exchange for the release of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is being held in the United States for attempted murder of American personnel in Afghanistan, according to the Times of India.

The Taliban denied the couple escaped, claiming instead that the Swiss nationals were released when the ransom was paid.

After they were found at 3 a.m. on Thursday, the couple was taken to Islamabad and handed over to the Swiss embassy. They're in good health.

The Swiss ambassador in Islamabad is in direct contact with them and has ascertained that they are uninjured and that, given the circumstances, they are doing well, the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

They are currently in a safe place in Pakistan. They will return to Switzerland as soon as possible.

In separate news, the Taliban assassinated a senior Pakistani police commander known for fighting the insurgent group, according to DNA India. Superintendent Kalam Khan had survived three previous assassination attempts, but was killed instantly when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest next to the officer's car in Peshawar.