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Pakistan Gunmen Kill Ex-Lawyer of Doctor Who Helped CIA

FILE - Samiullah Afridi, lawyer for Shakil Afridi, who ran a fake vaccination campaign to try help U.S. officials find al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, speaks to the media after appearing before the court in Peshawar.

A former lawyer of the Pakistani man who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden was shot dead Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar.

Unknown gunmen opened fire on the lawyer, Samiullah Afridi, as he was returning home from work.

In an email to VOA and other media organizations, Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for killing the former lawyer of Dr. Shakil Afridi in retaliation for the death of bin Laden, adding that others involved would also be targeted.

Lawyer Afridi represented Dr. Afridi until the middle of last year, when frequent death threats forced him to flee the country. He returned in late 2014 and dissociated himself from the trial.

Dr. Afridi ran a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign on behalf of the CIA that was designed to collect DNA samples from the compound where bin Laden was eventually killed. He was tried, convicted of treating anti-state Islamic militants and given a 33-year prison term. It is widely believed that he was punished for helping the CIA.

Samiullah Afridi challenged the judgment in Peshawar High Court on behalf of Dr. Afridi. The court sent the case back to the Frontier Crimes Regulation tribunal for revision. The sentence was reduced by a few years.

Dr. Afridi’s current team of lawyers has another petition pending in the FCR tribunal to revoke the sentence and drop all charges against him.

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