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US official in Pakistan to face murder charge

 People look at blood stains on a road in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee shot and killed two gunmen as they app...
 People protest outside a police station following killings of two men in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee shot a...
 People look at blood stains at a roadside  in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee shot and killed two gunmen as the...
 People protest outside a police station following the killing of two men in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee sho...

Pakistan

People look at blood stains on a road in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee shot and killed two gunmen as they app...

Pakistan

People protest outside a police station following killings of two men in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee shot a...

Pakistan

People look at blood stains at a roadside in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee shot and killed two gunmen as the...

Pakistan

People protest outside a police station following the killing of two men in Lahore, Pakistan on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. A U.S. consular employee sho...

Pakistan will pursue murder charges against a U.S. consular employee suspected in the shooting deaths of two armed men possibly intent on robbing him, a top prosecutor said Friday.
The government will likely come under domestic pressure to be tough on the American, who police say claims he acted in self-defense. Many Pakistanis regard the United States with suspicion or outright enmity because of its occupation of neighboring Afghanistan and regular missile attacks against militant targets in Pakistan's northwest.
A third Pakistani was killed in the incident Thursday in the bustling city of Lahore, allegedly after being hit by a U.S. vehicle rushing to aid the American, who also in a vehicle.
Police officer Umar Saeed said the American, who has not been named, had told officers he had withdrawn money from an ATM shortly before the incident, raising the possibility the two men were following him. Others Pakistani officers have said the men were likely robbers, were on a motorbike and both were carrying pistols.
Regardless, Rana Bakhtiar, deputy prosecutor general for Punjab, said the state would pursue murder charges.
"He has killed two men. A case is registered against him on murder charges," he said.
Bakhtiar spoke after the American appeared in a court in Lahore where judges ordered him to remain in police custody for six days.
Western diplomats travel with armed guards in many parts of Pakistan because of the risk of militant attack. Lahore has seen frequent terrorist bombings and shootings over the last two years, though the city's small expatriate population has not been directly targeted.
In a two-sentence statement, the U.S. Embassy confirmed that a consulate staffer "was involved in an incident yesterday that regrettably resulted in the loss of life." The U.S. was working with Pakistanis to "determine the facts and work toward a resolution," it said.
In parliament, Interior Minister Rehman Malik was asked by a lawmaker whether he was trying to set the American free, a sign of the political sensitivities in the case.
"I will never abet a criminal," he replied.
Robbers on motorbikes pulling up alongside cars and holding them up is a common crime in Pakistani cities.
Americans and other foreigners have also been frequently targeted by Islamist militants in Pakistan.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2008, gunmen shot and killed a U.S. aid worker as he drove to work. Suspected militants also opened fire on the vehicle of the top American diplomat in the city the same year, but she survived the attack.


Updated : 2020-12-04 20:02 GMT+08:00