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Beheaded "US spy" found on Pakistani border

Written by: Staff

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan, Apr 16 (Reuters) Residents of a troubled Pakistani border region found the beheaded body of a man with note saying he was an American spy and a warning others would face the same treatment, an official said today.

The body was found yesterday in a market area in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, where Pakistani forces have been battling al Qaeda-linked militants.

''He was American spy and all of you will face this if you follow him,'' a government official who declined to be identified quoted the note as saying.

Many al Qaeda militants fled to Pakistan's semi-autonomous border region after US and Afghan opposition forces ousted the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in late 2001.

Many of the foreign militants joined forces with ethnic Pashtun tribesmen, who inhabit both sides of the porous border, many of whom sympathise with the Taliban.

The Pakistani army killed an Egyptian al Qaeda member, wanted for involvement in the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in an air strike in North Waziristan on Wednesday.

A government spokesman identified the man as Abdul Rehman, one of the aliases used by Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah, for whom the United States had offered a 5 million dollor reward.

He was killed along with six other Islamist militants in a missile attack on their hideout, according to officials.

Osama bin Laden is believed to have passed through North Waziristan during his escape from Afghanistan in late 2001.

Reuters SI RS1657

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