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Macedonia Staged 'Terrorist' Killing

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    SHOOTING OF SEVEN TERRORISTS STAGED FOR US, SAYS MACEDONIA Konstantin Testorides, Independent, 5/1/04
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2004
      SHOOTING OF SEVEN 'TERRORISTS' STAGED FOR US, SAYS MACEDONIA
      Konstantin Testorides, Independent, 5/1/04
      http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=517023


      Police in Macedonia said yesterday that the killing of seven alleged
      terrorists two years ago was staged to win US support and that the
      victims were simply illegal immigrants.

      Mirjana Konteska, a police spokeswoman, said that six people,
      including three former police commanders, two special police officers
      and a businessman, have been charged with murder. "That was an act of
      a sick mind," she said. "They ordered the brutal murder of seven
      Pakistani men."

      The killings were carried out in March 2002 by special police who
      claimed to have eliminated a terrorist group plotting to attack
      embassies and representatives in Macedonia. The spokeswoman said that
      the seven victims had been lured into Macedonia with promises that
      they would be transferred to Western Europe. They were taken by
      police to the Rastanski Lozja area, which is north-east of the
      capital Skopje, where they were encircled and shot by special
      officers using automatic weapons.

      "They lost their lives in a staged murder," she said. There was no
      immediate comment from international officials in Macedonia. Western
      representatives in the country had demanded an investigation.
      Macedonia has been a close US ally in the Balkans and has supported
      the war on terrorism.

      Also facing possible charges in connection with the case is the
      former Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski, who was chief of police at
      the time. He is likely to be charged if parliament revokes the
      immunity from prosecution he enjoys as a deputy.

      He denied the allegations, telling reporters that he and his
      associates were tipped off about the alleged terrorists by
      unidentified American intelligence officers. If found guilty, the
      suspects could face from 10 years to life in prison.

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