/ 26 February 2009

Taliban kill ‘US spy’ as a gift to Obama

Taliban militants beheaded an Afghan in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region after accusing him of spying for the United States, local police said on Thursday.

The 35-year-old man was kidnapped a week ago and his body found on Thursday in Razmak, about 65km south of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, an official said.

”He was slaughtered overnight. His headless body was put on the roadside, police official Munir Khan told AFP.

A note found on the body of the man, identified as Shafiq Gul, said he was ”spying for the US”.

”Whoever spies for the US will face the same fate. This is a gift to [US President Barack] Obama,” the note said.

Islamist militants frequently kidnap and kill local tribesmen and Afghans, on alleged charges of spying for the Pakistani government or for US forces, who are battling a Taliban-led insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s rugged tribal regions have been wracked by violence since becoming a stronghold for hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda rebels who fled across the border to escape the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

The new Obama administration is conducting a comprehensive strategy review in its war against Islamist extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. — Sapa-AFP