Taliban militants behead Sikh in Pakistan
Mon, Feb 22, 2010

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 22, 2010 (AFP) - Taliban militants in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt kidnapped and beheaded a Sikh after relatives failed to pay ransom for his release, an official and a Sikh community member said Monday.

Jaspal Singh was one of three Sikhs abducted in Bara, a town in Khyber district, in late January, an administrative official told AFP by telephone from the tribal area on the Afghan border.

His body was found on Sunday in the neighbouring tribal district of Orakzai.

"Militants later handed over the dead body to his relatives," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A senior member of the Sikh community in Peshawar confirmed the beheading and said two other Sikhs were still in captivity.

"The Taliban gave an ultimatum of February 20 to pay the ransom. They killed him on the same day," he told AFP on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety.

Sikhs and Hindus are tiny communities in Pakistan. In the last year, hundreds have fled their homes after receiving death threats from the Taliban and other militant groups in the increasingly unstable northwest.

Most Sihks and Hindus living in Khyber pay annual protection to local militant group Lashkar-e-Islam, the Sikh community member said, blaming the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for the beheading.

"This is a matter of money. Now Taliban are also demanding that we pay money," he told AFP.

TTP has become the most dangerous militant group operating in Pakistan, where a wave of suicide and bomb attacks carried out by Islamist militants have killed more than 3,000 people since July 2007.

Bookmark and Share
  Taliban militants behead Sikh in Pakistan
  Death toll in India restaurant bombing rises to 15
  Life expectancy declines in N.Korea since 1990s
  Quake rattles Taiwan, no reports of damage
  India charges British duo over planespotting
  M'sian consular worker dies in 'ferocious' Sydney attack
  Are charity hospitals the only hope for India's poor?
  74 year old man drowns after driving car into pond
  Driver crashes a bus into advertising space
  25 air marshals trained for anti-terrorism deployments