Mon, Aug 13, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Two suspected spies killed by extremists


Islamic extremists killed two Afghan nationals accused of being US spies in the restive Pakistani tribal belt yesterday, officials said.

The beheaded and limbless body of an Afghan national identified as Habibur Rehman was found in waste ground near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, a security official said.

"The militants beheaded the man and also chopped off his legs and arms," the official said, requesting anonymity.

A note placed near the body said people should know "this is the fate of those who spy for American forces," he said.

US officials have said the region has become a safe haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban fugitives.

Rehman, believed to be in his 30s, had been living as a refugee in North Waziristan, having arrived from the eastern Afghan town of Zurmat.

The note said he had "confessed" to receiving US$200 a month for spying for US forces across the border in Afghanistan, according to the official.

The body of another Afghan refugee was found near the bazaar of Datta Khel town, some 20km west of Miranshah, another official said.

He said the man, identified as Mohammad Amir, was shot dead and a note placed near the body read: "He was an American spy."

Militants believed to be linked with al-Qaeda and the Taliban have killed several people including local tribesmen whom they accused of espionage.

Meanwhile Pakistani helicopter gunships pounded suspected militant bases in the mountainous region overnight.

The attacks were believed to be targeting militant arms depots.

Hundreds of extremists fled into Pakistan's mountainous border areas after the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, where they found support from conservative Pakistani tribesmen.

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