Wife of Pakistani shot by gunman commits suicide

The wife of a Pakistani shot dead by a US official committed suicide after taking poisonous pills on Sunday, fearing the American would be released without trial, police and doctors said.

The US consular employee, whom Pakistani police identified as Raymond Davis, was arrested on January 27 after shooting dead Mohammad Faheem and Faizan Haider, saying he acted in self-defence fearing the pair were about to rob him.

The American was arrested by police and a case of double murder registered against him.

Shumaila, the wife of Faheem, took poisonous pills and was taken to hospital in Faisalabad city, local police chief Usman Anwar told AFP, where she died despite attempts to save her.

"Faheem's wife Shumaila has died," doctor Yasin Hashmi, head of Faisalabad city's Allied Hospital, said.

"Doctors tried hard to save her life but could not succeed and she died a short while ago," he said.
Local police officer Rana Atif confirmed the death.

Her body will be handed over to the family after a post mortem, he said.

Emergency ward doctor Ali Naqi said her condition had deteriorated in the evening, confirming the suicide attempt.

He earlier quoted Shumaila as saying that she feared Davis could be released without trial.

Shumaila told local Duniya television that she was upset over reports that efforts were being made to secure his release.

"I was under shock and decided to kill myself," she said. "We want blood for blood," she told the channel.

Faheem's brother Mohammad Waseem told AFP that Shumaila, 18, was plunged into a "severe depression" by her husband's death.

She took the pills, which he said were rat poison, before dawn and was rushed to the hospital early Sunday.

The shooting incident has sparked fury in Pakistan, where anti-Americanism is rampant, stirred by Washington's alliance with an unpopular government, the war in Afghanistan and US missile attacks targeting Islamists in the northwest.

Shumaila's death may inflame emotions. Dozens of people from religious and political parties gathered outside the hospital chanting slogans against Davis.

Washington says its employee belongs to its US embassy's "technical administrative staff" and is therefore entitled to "full criminal immunity".

US television network ABC reported that Davis is a private security officer with experience in the US Special Forces.

A Pakistani court on Thursday defied pressure from Washington for his release and extended his detention for eight more days pending investigations. Public prosecutor Abdul Samad said he would be produced next in court on February 11.

In last month's incident, a third Pakistani was knocked down and killed by a vehicle from the US consulate in Lahore that tried to rescue Davis.

 

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