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.


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

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