- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2002

From combined dispatches
QUETTA, Pakistan Hundreds of Pakistanis chanted "Death to America" at an airport yesterday as the body of a man executed for the murder of two CIA workers was returned home.
Security forces surrounded the small airport in the provincial city of Quetta as the body of Aimal Khan Kasi arrived by plane from the United States, where he was put to death by injection Thursday in a Virginia prison.
About 600 people, many of them Kasi's tribesmen, chanted "Allah is great" and "Long live the holy warrior of Islam" as a casket carrying Kasi's body was unloaded at the airport.
"We are proud of you, Aimal," read a banner strung in front of the airport. Mourners later threw flower petals on the street as a car carried away Kasi's remains.
Funeral prayers are to be held for Kasi today, and the family has chosen to hold an Islamic rite for him in Quetta's main sports stadium because of the number of people expected to attend.
The State Department has warned that Kasi's execution could lead to retaliation against Americans, despite a plea for peace from Kasi's family. Four Americans were killed in Pakistan after Kasi's 1997 conviction.
Security at U.S. and international installations in Pakistan has been strengthened since the execution, but the reaction has been mostly quiet.
Black flags fluttered atop some shops and at Kasi's family home as a sign of mourning.
Kasi was executed for the 1993 murders of two CIA employees communications worker Frank Darling, 28, and CIA analyst and physician Lansing Bennett, 66 as they sat in their cars at a stoplight.
Three more persons were wounded as Kasi sprayed bullets from a semiautomatic AK-47 rifle.
In Quetta yesterday, police were out in force guarding streets and intersections. A shop owners' association in town said followers will keep their shops shut in protest today.
Kasi fled the United States after killing the CIA employees and spent most of the next 4 years hiding in and around the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. He was caught in a hotel while visiting Pakistan in 1997 and was returned to the United States.
In a separate development, Pakistan's pro-military party said yesterday it would keep trying to form a coalition government despite talks breaking down with an Islamic alliance that holds the balance of power in the deadlocked parliament.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussein, a senior leader of the pro-military Pakistan Muslim League, said his party would tap other allies or try to revive talks with the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, the umbrella alliance of anti-Western and pro-Taliban Islamic parties.
News of the failed talks came a day before the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, was due to elect its speaker and deputy speaker, key steps toward the election of a prime minister and a return to civilian rule after Gen. Pervez Musharraf's October 1999 coup.


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