Five gunmen killed as forces free kidnapped doc’s

Last Updated: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 15:37

Islamabad: Three doctors and a woman health
worker were rescued by Pakistani security forces who shot dead
five gunmen in the restive Balochistan province, foiling a
kidnapping attempt.

Personnel from the Levies militia secured the safe release
of the four persons during an operation in Pishin area
yesterday.

The gunmen had kidnapped the four from Killi Hekalzai and
Malazai and had planned to take them to Waziristan tribal
region, officials said.

Five kidnappers were killed during an exchange of fire and
one sustained serious injuries. He was arrested by the Levies
personnel. Three Levies personnel were injured in the
shootout.

They were taken to provincial capital Quetta for
treatment. A few weeks ago, armed men kidnapped six workers of
a local NGO in the same area and took them to Waziristan.
They are yet to be traced.

A day earlier, the State Department had expressed concern
over the raids.

"We call on the Egyptian government to immediately end the
harassment of NGO staff, return all property and resolve this
issue immediately," the State Department spokesperson,
Victoria Nuland, had said.

"The United States is deeply concerned that Egyptian
judicial and police officials raided the offices of a number
of nongovernmental organizations today, including the National
Democratic Institute and the International Republican
Institute.

"This action is inconsistent with the bilateral
cooperation we have had over many years," Nuland said.

Nuland said these NGOs which were raided by Egyptian
officials were there to support the democratic process.
"Some of these are institutions that are supported by the
United States government, that work around the world in the
interest of helping citizens realize their goals of democratic
processes taking root in their country," she said.

The two NGOs in question NDI and IRI are strongly
supported with US government funds and their primary purpose
is to support the development of democratic institutions.
They work most actively, both NDI and IRI, in countries
that are in democratic transition.

"They do things like train poll monitors, train poll
workers, train political parties in how to mount their
campaigns.

"But they don`t support any individual candidate, any
individual party," she said.

"All of their work is open to public scrutiny and to
government scrutiny. And we`ve been, particularly in the
Egyptian case, they have been extremely transparent about the
programs that they have in Egypt, about who`s participating,
etc, the US official said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 15:37

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