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Pakistan Authorities Examine Possible Remains of US Reporter - 2002-05-17

Authorities in Pakistan have dug up a grave in the southern city of Karachi containing remains believed to be those of murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Police have recovered a torso and severed head they believe belong to the U.S. reporter. Authorities say a tip led them to the grave in a garden on the outskirts of Karachi.

Doctors are examining the body that was found in several pieces. Major-General Rashid Qureshi is a government spokesman in Islamabad.

"It seems to be Daniel Pearl's body. We are waiting for a confirmation, because we want to be 100-percent sure that there is no mistake in this," he said.

Police are reported to have also found a room near the grave where Mr. Pearl was believed to have been held hostage.

The American reporter was abducted in Karachi in January while researching stories on Islamic militants. The kidnappers had sent pictures of him in captivity, along with demands for improved treatment for al-Qaida suspects held by the United States.

A video showing Mr. Pearl's body being butchered was delivered to U.S. diplomats in the city a month later.

Four men are on trial in Pakistan for allegedly plotting the murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter. A British-born Islamic Ahmed Omar Sheik, is among the defendants. All four have denied the charges, which carry the death penalty. Seven other suspects in the case remain at large.