American national kills three in Lahore

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M Zulqernain

Lahore, Jan 27 (PTI) An employee of the US Consulatein this eastern Pakistani city shot and killed two men in abusy commercial area while another man died in a road accidentinvolving a speeding car driven by the American''s associatetoday, police said.

The US national � identified as Raymond Davis, amember of the staff at the American consulate � opened fireafter two armed men riding a motorcycle pulled up alongsidehis car at a traffic light in the Mozang area of Lahore, citypolice chief Aslam Tareen said.

A speeding US consulate car hit two pedestrians nearthe scene of the shooting a short while later and one of themsuccumbed to his injuries in hospital, Tareen said.

The car was carrying consulate staff who were headingto assist Davis, other officials said.

The accident occurred because the car went in thewrong direction on a one-way street, Tareen said.

The police chief described Davis as a "technicaladvisor" working at the US consulate.

Tareen told the media that Davis was not authorised tocarry weapons in public.

Davis was taken into police custody though no case wasregistered against him.

Police were looking for the kin of the two men killedin the shooting to register a case against Davis, Tareen said.

Witnesses said police and traffic wardens caught Davisafter a brief chase.

Davis''s car was intercepted by two alleged robbers,Lahore Police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI.

"I opened fire in self-defence," Davis was quoted assaying by the spokesman.

Haider said a pistol was recovered from the two menwho allegedly tried to rob Davis.

Superintendent of Police (Operations) Umar Saeed andseveral witnesses too confirmed the men who intercepted theAmerican were armed.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice ofthe incident and directed officials to take action against theUS national according to international conventions, TV newschannels reported.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad confirmedthat Davis was a consular employee.

Footage on television showed that the front windscreenof the US national''s car was punctured by several bullets.

The rear windscreen was shattered. Witnesses said theyhad seen the two armed trying to hold up the US national.

They said they had then seen the American firing atthe two men.

Davis took photos of the two men after they fell tothe ground on being hit by bullets, the witnesses said.

Davis spoke in Urdu and told people who surrounded hiscar that he had acted in self-defence, they said.

People protested in the area after the incident andburnt tyres to block roads.

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