Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Killings in Karachi Put Americans on Watch the Slaying of Four US Businessmen on Wednesday May Be Linked to US Trial of Pakistani for CIA Murders

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Killings in Karachi Put Americans on Watch the Slaying of Four US Businessmen on Wednesday May Be Linked to US Trial of Pakistani for CIA Murders

Article excerpt

Yesterday's killing of four Americans in the Pakistani city of Karachi may have confirmed a US warning about possible retaliation for Monday's conviction of a Pakistani in a US court for a 1993 terrorist killing of two CIA employees.

Police in Pakistan's southern port city are searching for two suspects in the killings of four businessmen and their Pakistani driver.

The four Americans were auditors for Union Texas, an American oil company that accounts for roughly half of Pakistan's petroleum production. They were visiting Pakistan from their company's head offices in Houston. The killings came as a brutal reminder of the large-scale proliferation of weapons in this city, which has been the scene of wide-scale violence, in part due to the flow of guns from the long war in neighboring Afghanistan. Senior government officials say that a slowdown in economic growth during the past two years has only given impetus to growing unemployment, making it more tempting for educated but unemployed young people to turn to crime, such as being hired to commit murder. The killings were the second time that US citizens have been targeted in Karachi. In March 1995, two American employees of the US consulate in Karachi were killed and a third injured, when the van in which they were being driven to their office was ambushed by unknown gunmen. Although no motive for yesterday's killings was immediately known, Pakistani officials say, they suspect the killings were a general retaliation against Americans for Monday's conviction of Mir Aimal Kasi for the killings of two CIA employees near the agency's offices outside Washington four years ago. Following the Kasi verdict , the US State Department issued a warning to Americans in the Middle East in general and Pakistan in particular that retaliation was a possibility, saying: "While we have no specific threat information, American citizens traveling abroad should pay close attention to their personal security practices in light of the potential threat. …

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