Lawyer for doctor who helped CIA find Bin Laden gets killed

2015-03-18 10:45
Samiullah Afridi. (Dr Ayesha, Twitter)

Samiullah Afridi. (Dr Ayesha, Twitter)

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Islamabad - A lawyer who was defending a Pakistani doctor who helped CIA agents hunt Osama bin Laden was shot dead on Tuesday, local media reported, quoting the police.

At least two separate Taliban splinter groups claimed responsibility, according to local news websites.

The lawyer, Samiullah Afridi, was gunned down late Tuesday when he was returning to his home in the outskirts of Peshawar, a volatile northwwestern city, police told Dawn news website.

He was representing Shakil Afridi, who was jailed in 2012 for 33 years after being convicted of having ties with the militants.

Officials and activists say it was revenge because Afridi is believed to have helped the CIA with a fake vaccination campaign to track down bin Laden.

The doctor is waiting for a new trial after the sentence was reduced by 10 years in 2013. His appeal hit a snag after the tenure of the tribunal hearing his case expired this month.

Last year Afridi had announced that he would stop representing the doctor fearing for his life. He had received several death threats, and recently returned from abroad after leaving the country for several months due to safety concerns.

The killing of the lawyer comes the same day a female polio worker and a policeman were killed in a gun attack in north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Espionage

Two gunmen targeted an anti-polio team in Sheikhabad area of Mansehra district on Tuesday.

District police chief Ijaz Khan said that the attackers opened fire on polio workers when they were busy giving vaccines to children.

"A woman health worker and a policeman were killed while another woman worker and passerby were injured," he said.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban oppose polio vaccine and often target the paramedics, saying anti-polio medicines are a conspiracy by the west to sterilise Muslims and vaccination campaigns are used for espionage.

Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic. Last year, 306 polio cases were recorded in Pakistan, the highest in 14 years.

Separately, at least three people including two children, were killed when a toy fitted with a bomb exploded in a remote area of Swat district in the same province.

Local police official Bakhat Wahid confirmed the bombing and said the victims were from same family.

"A 35-year-old man, his 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son were killed," he said.

Two more children were injured and were being treated in hospital.

Read more on:    cia  |  taliban  |  osama bin laden  |  pakistan  |  us

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