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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 September 2005, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Japanese tourists confirmed dead
Remains carried to autopsy in Kabul
The body of one tourist is carried to autopsy in Kabul
Doctors say two bodies found in southern Afghanistan on Thursday are those of missing Japanese tourists.

They said dental records have confirmed the identities of Jun Fukusho, 44, and Shinobu Hasegawa, 30, both teachers from Hiroshima.

The head of the pathology department at Kabul University, where autopsies took place, said they had been shot dead.

The bodies were found near the main road between Kandahar and Pakistan. The tourists went missing on 8 August.

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They had apparently entered the country from Pakistan to go sightseeing, Japanese diplomatic sources said.

Hassan Halemi, head of pathology at Kabul University, said: "After four hours of testing, we realised that both bodies are those two Japanese. Both were shot dead."

He said it appeared they had been dead for three weeks at least, killed by bullets to the head.

Taleban denial

The Japanese foreign ministry has confirmed the identities and notified the families.


The junior high school teachers had travelled to Pakistan on 6 August and were expected to return to Japan on 19 August.

Tourists are rare in Afghanistan, particularly in the south and east, where armed criminal gangs and Taleban fighters are active.

However, two Taleban commanders told Associated Press the group had not kidnapped or killed the two.

Kandahar provincial governor Asadullah Khalid said he thought the killings may have been carried out by a criminal gang.


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