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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 05:34 GMT
US executes Pakistani killer
Protest in Quetta, Pakistan
The case has prompted protests in Pakistan
A Pakistani national convicted of the murder of two CIA employees has been executed by lethal injection in the US state of Virginia.

Aimal Khan Kansi, 38, was convicted of the 1993 killings in a shooting rampage outside the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.


I have no regrets... I told the US that its officials would not be safe in their homes if it continues to target Palestinians

Aimal Khan Kansi
Hours before his execution, Kansi told the BBC's Urdu service that he felt no remorse and that he carried out the attack to register his anger at American "anti-Muslim" policy in the Middle East.

The US had warned of possible reprisal attacks, and several hours later an explosion on a bus in the Pakistani city of Hyderabad killed two and wounded five.

It was not clear whether the blast was linked to the execution.

The US State Department had said it would close its embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.

Protests in Pakistan

Kansi was executed at Virginia's Greensville Correctional Center, and was pronounced dead at 2107 on Thursday (0207 GMT Friday).

He repeated the phrase "There is no god but Allah," until he lost consciousness.

Prior to his execution, Kansi met two of his brothers, his lawyers, and his spiritual adviser.

No relatives of the two victims attended the execution.

Protests against the execution continued in Pakistan on Thursday.

Aimal Khan Kansi
Kansi: Would do the same again
In Kansi's home town of Quetta, reports say about 150 members of the condemned man's tribe chanted "Aimal is our hero" and "Death to Bush".

Last week, the US State Department issued a worldwide caution to its citizens about the potential for "retaliatory acts" in response to the case.

Kansi's family - supported by the Pakistani embassy in the US - launched a last-ditch appeal for clemency.

But the Virginia Governor, Mark Warner, turned it down, saying in a statement that Mr Kansi had "shown absolutely no remorse for his actions".

An appeal to the US Supreme Court also failed, with only two of the nine justices voting in favour of a stay.

Composed

Aimal Khan Kansi was calm and composed when the BBC interviewed him by phone from his high-security cell.


I saw Osama Bin Laden once in Kandahar - I shook hands with him

Aimal Khan Kansi
"Yes, I did kill two people outside the CIA headquarters and I said so in my confession to the FBI," he said.

"I told them I wanted to register my objection to their foreign policy - their Middle East policy, specifically their pro-Israel policy, their anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian policy."

He denied having links to al-Qaeda, although he admitted having friends among the Taleban and having met Osama Bin Laden once.

"I saw Osama Bin Laden once in Kandahar. I was standing there. People were shaking his hands - I, too, shook hands with him."

But he stressed: "He didn't know me".

Abduction

Kansi, 38, was captured in 1997 after being lured back into Pakistan by FBI and Pakistani security agents.

Kansi's supporters burn a tyre during a protest in Quetta
Pakistanis are up in arms
The day after the 1993 shooting, Kansi flew back to his native Quetta in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, before slipping over the Afghan border to escape arrest.

He told the BBC his only regret was that the Pakistani Government had allowed him to be kidnapped by the US.

Kansi was sentenced to death in 1997 for the murders of CIA intelligence analyst Lansing Bennett, 66, and CIA agent Frank Darling, 28, who were gunned down outside CIA headquarters four years earlier.

Three others were wounded in the attack.

The full interview, in Urdu, is available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Ian Pannell
"America has good reason to be on a heightened state of alert"
See also:

15 Nov 02 | South Asia
14 Nov 02 | Americas
14 Nov 02 | Americas
11 Nov 02 | South Asia
07 Nov 02 | Americas
16 Nov 97 | In Depth
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