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US alert ahead of Pak execution

Washington, Nov. 7 (Reuters): The state department warned Americans yesterday that the execution next week of a Pakistani convicted of murdering two CIA staff could trigger retaliatory attacks on US interests overseas.

The worldwide caution cited the scheduled November 14 execution in Virginia of Mir Ahmad Kasi, convicted five years ago in the 1993 murders of two CIA employees, as cause for extra vigilance.

“The potential exists for retaliatory acts against US or other foreign interests in response to the execution,” the state department said.

“These may include facilities where Americans or possibly other foreigners are generally known to congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches.”

It said increased security in the United States, put in place after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, had made overseas targets more attractive to attackers.

“Attacks on places of worship and schools, and the murders of private American citizens and other Westerners, demonstrate that as security is increased at official US facilities, terrorists and their sympathisers will seek softer targets,” it said.

Kasi, also known as Mir Aimal Kansi, was convicted of killing Lansing Bennett, 66, a physician and intelligence analyst, and Frank Darling, 28, an undercover agent, in a shooting spree with an AK-47 assault rifle outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Kasi fled to Pakistan a day after the shootings. He was captured there by US agents and their Pakistani counterparts in June 1997 and confessed on the flight back to the United States.

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