Police surgeon shot dead in Pak

Islamabad: A police surgeon who played a key role in exposing the extra-judicial killing of five foreigners was today shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, police said. Baqir Shah was in his car when motorcycle-borne gunmen fired at him on Sabzal Road in Quetta. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, police officials said adding that the attackers had managed to escape.

Shah had been attacked in the past too but was not provided any security, his colleagues said. The doctor had conducted the autopsy of five foreigners, including Russians and Tajiks, who were gunned down by Pakistani security forces in Quetta on May 17. The autopsy of the three women and two men revealed that they died from "multiple bullet wounds", contradicting claims by officials that they died because of an explosion.

Reports said Shah had faced pressure from security forces as the findings of the autopsies had gone against then Quetta police chief Daud Junejo`s claim that the foreigners had not died due to shooting by law enforcement personnel. Several police officers were removed from their positions due to the extra-judicial killing but authorities are yet to take action against personnel from the paramilitary Frontier Corps who were involved in the incident.

One of the dead women, in her late twenties, was seven months pregnant and was hit by about eight to 10 bullets. Five bullets were extracted from the body of another woman while the body of the third woman bore eight bullet wounds, Shah had told reporters in May. Though security officials had claimed the foreigners had weapons and suicide vests, media reports and witnesses said they were unarmed and not carrying any explosives. Footage on several TV news channels had shown security personnel firing volley of bullets at the foreigners as they lay on the ground near a security check post.