Afghan official accuses Pakistan intelligence in aid worker’s slaying

Kyodo

The Pakistani agency known as Inter-Services Intelligence may have been behind last week’s kidnapping and killing of aid worker Kazuya Ito, a spokesman for the Afghan intelligence services said Sunday.

“Such groups are organized by ISI, funded by ISI, and sent by ISI to Afghanistan,” Sayed Ansari said.

He was referring to a group of five men suspected of kidnapping and killing Ito, 31, an agricultural expert who worked for the nongovernmental organization Peshawar-kai in eastern Afghanistan.

“They (the ISI) don’t want the rehabilitation projects in Afghanistan, that is why by killing the engineers of such projects they want to stop them,” Ansari said.

One of two suspects arrested by Afghan security forces, Abdul Mohammad, is from the Haripur area of Pakistan, he said.

“Mohammad has said that he was born in Pakistan, brought up there and got training in Pakistani madrassas (religious schools) and had been sent to Afghanistan to fight Afghan and international forces,” the spokesman said.

Earlier, the suspect had identified himself as Adil Shah and claimed to be a resident of the Dara Noor area in Nengarhar Province, Afghanistan.

According to the initial investigation, the suspect has given up the names of three associates still at large as “Ahmad” from Laghman, eastern Afghanistan, and “Mubarez” and “Abdullah” from Kundoz, northern Afghanistan, Ansari said.

The fifth arrested was Ito’s driver, who fled from the kidnappers hours after he and Ito were taken, Ansari said.

Ansari said that as of yet they have no solid evidence of Pakistani intelligence’s involvement in the incident, but, he added, “similar attacks” in the past have been coordinated by the ISI.

Ito, from Shizuoka Prefecture, was kidnapped by an armed group just past 6 a.m. Aug. 26 in the village of Bodyalai, Nengarhar Province, where he had been posted on assignment.

His body was found the next day in the same area.

Autopsy report

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) A police autopsy has determined that aid worker Kazuya Ito’s death in Afghanistan was caused by loss of blood after a bullet severed an artery in his left thigh, investigative sources said Sunday.

Judging from the condition of his body, the Shizuoka Prefectural Police suspects that Ito, 31, was shot from long range after being abducted by an armed group in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the sources said.

There were three gunshot wounds in his left leg, they said.

Ito’s body was brought to his parents’ home in Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Sunday morning after the autopsy.

The body was flown to Japan on Saturday afternoon from Afghanistan via the United Arab Emirates.

A wake was held in the evening at a memorial hall in Kakegawa. The funeral is scheduled for Monday.

Ito was an agricultural specialist and a member of the Japanese nongovernmental organization Peshawar-kai.