Pakistan Orders Probe into Military Killing

Posted June 10th, 2011 at 7:55 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani leaders have ordered a probe after a video surfaced showing paramilitary soldiers shooting and killing an unarmed young man.

The video, which was broadcast on Pakistani television, shows members of the paramilitary Rangers opening fire on the man as he pleads for his life in the southern city of Karachi.

The man, later identified as Sarfaraz Shah, was buried Thursday amid protests from family members and human rights groups. The Rangers said he had been armed and was trying to rob someone when he was detained Wednesday.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday called for the matter to be investigated. Officials also announced the arrests of at least two of the paramilitary soldiers allegedly involved in the killing. And the Supreme Court on Friday ordered authorities to transfer the head of the paramilitary and the top police official in Sindh province.

The incident comes at a time when Pakistan's military is already under scrutiny following the May 2 U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. The al-Qaida leader was killed in that raid.

Human rights groups have long accused Pakistani security forces of carrying out extrajudicial killings.

A U.S. State Department human rights report released in April found that reported cases of torture and rape of individuals in Pakistani custody nearly doubled last year compared to 2009.