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EU condemns execution of Polish engineer in Pakistan
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08:51, February 10, 2009

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The European Union (EU) on Monday condemned the execution of a Polish engineer, who was kidnapped in Pakistan by Taliban militants in September 2008.

Both EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana and EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said they were shocked by the death of Piotr Stanczak, who worked as an engineer geologist.

"Solana condemns this heinous crime, which highlights the extremely dangerous and unstable situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and wishes to express his solidarity with Mr. Stanczak's relatives and the Polish government," Solana's spokeswoman, Cristina Gallach said.

Ferrero-Waldner said: "The perpetrators of this appalling terrorist crime must be pursued and brought to justice. I condemn in the strongest possible terms this despicable act of violence which cannot be justified under any circumstances."

A frame grab from video footage released by Pakistani Taliban militants obtained by Reuters February 8, 2009 shows kidnapped Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak at an unknown location. Stanczak was kidnapped near Attock city, about 65 km (40 miles) west of Islamabad on September 28. A tape was delivered to the office of a Reuters reporter in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan showing two masked men cutting off Stanczak's head, whom the militants said they killed because Pakistan's government refused to release Taliban prisoners. Before he was killed, Stanczak was seen on the tape appealing to the Polish government not to send troops to Afghanistan. He also urged Poland to severe ties with Pakistan, which he said had made no effort to secure his release, said a Reuters reporter who saw the tape.

She said the EU remains steadfast in its support for strengthening the institutions of the Pakistani state, and is ready to support all efforts to reinforce stability in the country.

An image from a video released by Pakistani Taliban militant that shows kidnapped Polish engineer Piotr Stanczak who was later executed. As Poles reeled in shock Monday after the beheading of the Polish engineer by militants in Pakistan, their government vowed to hunt down his murderers and bring them to justice

A video distributed to news organizations showed Stanczak was apparently beheaded by his kidnappers.


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