A key witness of the killing of five foreigners by security forces in Kharotabad said the police had threatened him to issue a false statement saying the two men and three women were armed.
Retracting his former statement, the driver accompanying the foreigners killed said the dead were unarmed and possessed nothing but books, clothes and shampoo.
Talking to journalists on Sunday, driver Ata Mohammad said: “I lied under duress that the foreigners were carrying hand grenades. The police threatened me with dire consequences.”
“We were on our way when some police officials intercepted us near the Khezi checkpoint for a search,” said Mohammad. After searching their belongings, the police found nothing except for shampoo bottles, clothes and books, he said. “I was sitting at the checkpoint and an official came to me and said the foreigners are suspicious and took them to the police station. We were on our way when a noisy quarrel broke out and I heard a voice
saying Allah o Akbar and then a police official said “stop the vehicle”. We stepped out and the foreigners tried to run away, the officer fired two bullets in the air and asked them to stop, but they avoided the call and kept running,” he said.
He said the police were chasing the foreigners when they entered a street. There was no sound of an explosion nor did I see any explosives, hand grenades or weapons with the foreigners, he said. “I gave a false statement on May 17, but I did not lie before the judicial tribunal,” he added.
At the tribunal hearing, Muhammad had said he did not see any grenade and explosives with the people, but told the tribunal that he was not facing any pressure from the police.
The person who booked the van from Kuchlak is still missing and no efforts have been made to trace him.
The bodies of Olga, a Russian national, and her Tajik husband Nauman were buried at Jabar Noorul Quran graveyard in Quetta. Nauman’s father attended the funeral prayers. Olga was seven months pregnant when she was shot dead by the security forces.
The other three foreigners killed have not been identified as yet and their bodies are still at the morgue at the Bolan Medical Complex.
Five foreigners, three women and two men, were gunned down on May 17, by the Frontier Corps (FC) and police near an FC picket on International Highway in the Kharotabad area, a suburb of Quetta. The police had alleged that the five were wearing suicide jackets and possessed explosives. An FC official was also killed in the incident.
However, the bomb disposal squad and post-mortem reports revealed that the suspects were neither wearing suicide jackets, nor possessed explosive material at the time of the attack.