Saudi Arabia: Afghan Officials Involved in the Killing of Aviation and Tourism Minister Not Arrested
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister Prince Naif said Saturday that the Kingdom had not yet received any “official demand” to extradite the three Afghans implicated in the murder of Afghanistan’s aviation and tourism minister, Abdul Rahman.
Addressing a press conference after inspecting Haj arrangements in the holy sites, the prince denied press reports that Saudi Arabia had detained the three Afghan security officials. A Saudi official, who requested anonymity, had earlier told the AFP news agency that the Kingdom had arrested the three Afghan officials, and was ready to extradite them once they received a formal request.
But Prince Naif said the three officials were not among the Afghan pilgrims on the two flights that arrived after the killing, and thus could not be arrested.
“Authorities have checked the names of pilgrims coming from Afghanistan after the incident, but the names of the three (Afghan officials) were not there,” he said, referring to the arrival on Friday in Jeddah of some 890 pilgrims from Kabul.
Earlier in the day, Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai said his administration had contacted the Kingdom about the three officials who allegedly escaped after killing the minister disguising themselves as pilgrims and boarding the flights.
He named the trio as the head of National Security’s political office, Gen. Abdullah Jan Tawhidi, Gen. Qalanderbeg, deputy technical officer in the Defense Ministry, and Saranwal Haleem, prosecutor in the Justice Ministry.
Meanwhile, the assassinated Afghan minister was buried on Saturday after a funeral procession led by Karzai, reported Reuters. Several hundred troops escorted the coffin carrying the body of the interim government's air transport and tourism minister, whose killing the country's leadership said was plotted by senior government officials.
"This event again proves that we need to save ourselves from the oppression of the gun and the force of the knife," Karzai told hundreds of rain-soaked mourners at a public burial ground on the edge of Kabul. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)