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PAKISTAN

Sweden confirms Pakistan arrests

Sweden's foreign ministry confirmed on Saturday that three Swedes have been arrested in Pakistan.

“We have received confirmation from the Pakistani authorities that three Swedes have been arrested,” Camilla Åkesson Lindblom at the foreign ministry press office confirmed.

The foreign ministry was unable to confirm the identity of the three arrested Swedes, reported to include the so-called “Guantánamo Swede,” Mehdi Ghezali, who was released from the US prison camp on Cuba in July 2004.

“We have not had that confirmed. And even if we had consular confidentiality rules would apply. This is a consular matter, as normal when a Swede is detained overseas, and we do not normally discuss their identity.”

According to Pakistani police information the detained trio include a small child.

“The only information that we have received is that there are three Swedes. They have not divulged age or gender,” Åkesson Lindblom said.

“I can not go in to the nature of the (consular) contact, or when and so on, except to say that the embassy will work on this in the same way as with other consular matters.”

According to Åkesson Lindblom the foreign ministry does not know what the three Swedes are suspected of nor where they are located at the moment.

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PAKISTAN

Swedish missionary dies after Pakistan shooting

The Swedish charity worker who was shot in the chest in Pakistan last week died in a Stockholm hospital on Wednesday night.

Swedish missionary dies after Pakistan shooting

Sveriges Television (SVT) reported that 71-year-old Birgitta Almeby died at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm late on Wednesday.

She was receiving treatment after having been flown home to Sweden for specialist medical care for her injuries.

Niclas Lindgren, director of the missionary wing of the Pentecostal church in Sweden, said it was hard to come to grips with Almeby’s killing.

“Birgitta worked with social issues like education and health care. If she’d worked with political issues, it may have been understandable why she got murdered,” he told The Local.

“There was no indication that there was a threat to her life. It was very unexpected. As it is now, we don’t know what the motive was or why she was killed.”

Lindgren added that it was “too early to say” whether the murder will affect the missionary’s work in Pakistan.

Speaking with Christian newspaper Dagen, a representative from the Pentecostal church in Köping said Almeby’s injuries had resulted in serious brain damage, leaving little hope that she would ever fully recover.

Almeby was attacked in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, on the eastern border with India last Monday.

“She was returning from her office and was attacked when she arrived in front of her home in the Model Town neighbourhood,” Awais Malik, a senior police official told AFP.

She was working in Lahore for the US-founded Full Gospel Assemblies, which describes itself as a “church fellowship” with congregations all over the world.

The woman had lived in Pakistan for almost forty years.

Malik said on Monday that the culprits had not yet been identified.

The missionary wing of the Pentecostal church in Sweden still has one family in Pakistan, according to press officer Noomi Lind:

“But they are safe at the moment, as far as we can see. So they are going to stay for the time being,” she told The Local.

Lahore, a city of eight million, suffered a string of high-profile bombings blamed on Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants in 2010.

In August 2011, US development worker Warren Weinstein was kidnapped after gunmen tricked their way into his Lahore home. Pakistani officials believe he is being held by al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists in Pakistan’s lawless

northwest.

In April, a British Muslim Red Cross worker was beheaded nearly four months after being kidnapped in the southwestern city of Quetta.

The Local/AFP/ej/og

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