• Kyodo

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Two Japanese tourists found shot dead in southern Afghanistan last week were not killed in the country, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

“I can confidently say that they were not killed in Afghanistan,” Mohammad Rahim Karimi told a news conference in Kabul.

“The entry records at the border show that they have not entered Afghanistan alive. We even did not find any Afghan currency in their pockets.”

Jun Fukusho, 44, and Shinobu Hasegawa, 33, who were teachers at a junior high school in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, went missing Aug. 8 after they checked out of a hotel in Quetta, western Pakistan, to travel to the Bamiyan ruins in central Afghanistan.

Their bodies were found Friday in the Daman district of Kandahar, close to the Pakistani border, with gunshot wounds to their heads.

Kandahar Gov. Assadullah Khalid told reporters the two were killed outside the Afghan border and their bodies were brought into Afghanistan.

The bodies were flown to Dubai on Tuesday, after a memorial service at the Japanese Embassy in Kabul the previous day, and were to be handed over to their families.

Tokyo was negotiating with Dubai to have the bodies cremated in a Dubai suburb and have the remains sent to Japan, according to Japanese government officials.

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