Pak­istani mil­i­tants killed in drone strike buried

In­dian doc­tor held for try­ing to burn pa­tient’s body

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

PE­SHAWAR: Thou­sands have at­tended the week­end fu­ner­als of 21 Pak­istani mil­i­tants killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan, lo­cal of­fi­cials and res­i­dents said, with one of­fi­cial putting the to­tal death toll around 50. The strike was car­ried out last Wed­nes­day on a train­ing camp in the east­ern prov­ince of Khost near the border with Pak­istan, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said.

They said it was launched by the United States. There was no im­me­di­ate con­fir­ma­tion from the US-dom­i­nated NATO force which is com­bat­ing Tal­iban and other mil­i­tants in Afghanistan.

It is un­clear how many peo­ple were killed. The Khost provin­cial gov­er­nor Hukum Khan Habibi put the fig­ure as high as 50 but that could not be con­firmed. A lo­cal Pak­istani se­cu­rity of­fi­cial and res­i­dents told AFP Sun­day that 21 bod­ies were brought to the Up­per and Lower Dir dis­tricts in Pak­istan’s north­west­ern prov­ince of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa for burial.

“I my­self at­tended the fu­neral prayer for four fight­ers, vil­lagers told me they were mu­jahideen,” said Alamzeb Khan, a dis­trict of­fi­cial in Lower Dir.

Khan said the coffins were wrapped in HYDERABAD: Po­lice in In­dia have ar­rested a doc­tor ac­cused of try­ing to set a pa­tient’s body on fire af­ter he died dur­ing treat­ment for back pain and fever, po­lice said yes­ter­day.

Sal­man Shiekh’s 45-year-old pa­tient be­came un­con­scious and died shortly af­ter be­ing given painkillers at a pri­vate clinic in the southern city of Hyderabad on Satur­day, said se­nior Hyderabad po­lice of­fi­cer T Sud­hakar. “Ap­par­ently he was hav­ing back pain and fever. As soon as he was given the in­jec­tions he fell un­con­scious and died,” Sud­hakar told AFP. Shiekh al­legedly took the body on a mo­tor­cy­cle to an iso­lated lo­ca­tion and the flag of Al Badr, a Pak­istani mil­i­tant group linked to the Tal­iban, and guests at the fu­neral shouted ji­hadi slogans against US troops in Afghanistan.

The bod­ies were badly mu­ti­lated, and one vil­lager who at­tended the fu­neral said the names of the fight­ers had been writ­ten on the wooden coffins for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“I fear that the num­ber of fight­ers killed in the drone strike was high and we may re­ceive more dead bod­ies,” the se­cu­rity of­fi­cial told AFP. Gov­er­nor Hukum Khan Habibi said the strike was staged on Wed­nes­day. “In this in­ci­dent, more than 50 Pak­istani fight­ers were killed.” Faizul­lah Ghairat, Khost provin­cial po­lice chief, con­firmed the at­tack and said it was car­ried out by the US.

In June 2014 the Pak­istani army launched a ma­jor at­tack on mil­i­tants op­er­at­ing in Pak­istan’s tribal ar­eas on the border, where they had pre­vi­ously been op­er­at­ing with im­punity, driv­ing many into Afghanistan. US drone strikes have long tar­geted mil­i­tants hid­ing along the por­ous border be­tween the two coun­tries. The pro­gram has caused up­roar in Pak­istan and Afghanistan over civil­ian ca­su­al­ties in botched strikes. — AFP doused it with petrol. The doc­tor tried to set the body on fire but was stopped by alarmed lo­cals, Sud­hakar said.

The reg­is­tered doc­tor, who had treated the vic­tim on pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions, is in cus­tody pend­ing the out­come of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He faces ini­tial charges of mur­der and de­stroy­ing ev­i­dence, Sud­hakar said.

The body has been sent for an autopsy to es­tab­lish the cause of death. The case is the lat­est high­light­ing poor health care. Ear­lier this month at least 14 peo­ple in the western state of Ma­ha­rash­tra were left blind in one eye af­ter bun­gled cataract surg­eries. —AFP

Pak­istani rel­a­tives, Is­lamic par­ties activists and res­i­dents pre­pare for the fu­neral prayers for Pak­istani mil­i­tants killed in a drone strike in Afgh­nistan in Timer­gara in the Lower Dir dis­trict of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa prov­ince. — AFP

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