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Archive for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pakistani government blamed for beheading

February 10, 2009

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— Poland promised Monday to issue international arrest warrants for Taliban militants after the apparent beheading of a Polish engineer in Pakistan, and officials charged that elements within the Pakistani government shared blame for the killing.

Pakistan’s top diplomat in Poland firmly rejected the accusation that some members of the Islamabad government are sympathetic to Islamic extremists, saying his country is snarled in a bitter fight with terrorist groups that is killing many of its own.

Without a body, Polish authorities were not able to officially confirm the death of Piotr Stanczak, but they said a seven-minute video purporting to show the 42-year-old’s slaying appeared authentic. Copies of the video were delivered to journalists in Pakistan on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear what impact the issuing of warrants might have, because Poland does not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan. Islamabad has refused to extradite Pakistanis suspected of taking part in the November terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

Justice Minister Andrzej Czuma said Polish intelligence has identified the kidnappers as members of a Taliban group. He said intelligence “has described the leadership of the group, their relatives, where they are located, their friends in Pakistani government structures.”

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