Pak police in tight spot over killing of unarmed Chechens

Karachi: Pakistani police has come under intense scrutiny after it was brought to light that the five Chechen terror suspects, including three women, who were gunned down in Quetta this week, were neither wearing suicide vests nor carrying weapons as claimed earlier.

The police chief of Quetta had told the media on Tuesday that five suspected Chechen militants had suicide jackets tied around their waists and that one of them had detonated herself when stopped at a paramilitary checkpost.

But now, this version has come in for questioning in the national media and a senior police official has admitted that while 52 detonators fixed in separate shampoo bottles were seized, they were recovered from the vehicle from which the suspects had already alighted.

The five were on foot when they were shot dead and the "Dawn" newspaper quoted eye witnesses as saying that the Chechens had infact alighted and raised their arms in surrender when they were gunned down.

The emerging versions have put the police and the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary in a tight spot, forcing them to launch a probe into the incident.

The police have formed different investigation teams under the supervision of four Superintendents Police (SPs) to probe the incident.

It has also come to light that the five suspects gunned down had two more `accomplices` who fled the scene when the incident occurred. A manhunt has been launched to locate the two.

Quoting the designated driver for the `terrorists`, the senior police officer said: "The driver picked up seven foreigners from the Kuchlak area. They were heading towards the Ghousabad area of Saryab, a Quetta suburb where most Afghan refugees take shelter".

"They paid the driver Rs 700 as transport fare. They asked him not to stop if the police signaled. The driver did as asked because he said they were carrying hand grenades," the police officer added.

The driver is currently being interrogated by the police.