QUETTA: The bullet-riddled body of a British employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who was kidnapped nearly four months earlier, was found dumped near Airport Road in Quetta on Sunday morning.
Dr Khalil Ahmed Dale, a Yemen-born British national, was kidnapped on January 5, by a group of armed men near his office in the Chaman Housing Scheme — a high-security zone where offices of all international organisations are located.
According to Superintendent Police Malik Arshid, the body was found in a gunny bag dumped near the Killi Umar area on Airport Road.
“A local official of ICRC identified him as Dr Khalil Ahmed Dale,” Arshid told reporters.
The body was shifted to Sandeman Provincial Hospital for autopsy. “The body bore multiple bullet wounds and marks of tortures,” doctors said.
However, the body is yet to be identified by senior ICRC officials. “A team from ICRC was sent to the hospital to identify the body,” a senior official said. “For the time being we cannot confirm anything because we are gathering more information and senior officials are on their way to the hospital.”
Police found a note from the body in which the kidnappers wrote that they killed the ICRC official because the organisation did not fulfill their demands despite repeated warnings.
Deputy Inspector General (Investigations) Quetta had earlier claimed that the kidnappers had shifted Dr Dale to Waziristan.
The ICRC has also curtailed its activities in Pakistan, with the closure of three of its centres. In Balochistan the ICRC mainly focuses on health programmes, and supports several health centres, including a hospital and an orthopedic ward.
“The ICRC continued to support health centres and hospitals after the kidnapping of Dr Dale,” an official of the organisation said requesting anonymity.
The ICRC did not confirm if they had been approached for ransom money by the kidnappers. Relations with the British government are to become more tense following the tragic incident, observers said.
The ICRC confirmed and condemned the murder of its staff member Dale.
“The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act,” said Director-General Yves Daccord. “All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.”
“We are devastated,” said Daccord. ‘’Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause.”
‘Senseless and cruel’
Britain condemned and called the killing of Dale as “senseless and cruel”.
London had tried tirelessly to secure the release of the 60-year-old ICRC worker, Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.
“This was a senseless and cruel act, targeting someone whose role was to help the people of Pakistan, and causing immeasurable pain to those who knew Mr Dale,” said Hague.