- Police discovered Khalil Dale’s head and body wrapped in plastic in the southwestern city of Quetta
- ICRC condemned death as a ‘barbaric act’
- Pro-Taliban militants are active in the province where he was killed
- ‘I utterly condemn the kidnapping and killing of Mr Dale,’ said William Hague
PUBLISHED: 08:35 EST, 29 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:07 EST, 29 April 2012
The beheaded, bullet-ridden body of a kidnapped British doctor working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was found dumped by the roadside today in the southwestern Pakistan city of Quetta, police and Red Cross officials said.
Muslim convert Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was kidnapped by suspected militants on January 5 while on his way home from work.
‘The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act,’ ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord said in a statement. ‘All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.’
Experienced: Dale had worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq before coming to Pakistan
Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed his sympathy to the family of Khalil Dale, who was working with the Red Cross.
He said: ‘I learned with great sadness earlier today of the killing of Khalil Dale by his kidnappers in Baluchistan province, Pakistan.
‘Mr Dale, a British humanitarian worker, was kidnapped in January this year. Since then tireless efforts have been under way to secure his release, and the British Government has worked closely with the Red Cross throughout.
‘I utterly condemn the kidnapping and killing of Mr Dale, and send my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones as they come to terms with their tragic and distressing loss.’
Police discovered Dale’s head and body wrapped in plastic near a western bypass road. His name was written on the white plastic bag with black marker.
‘A sharp knife was used to sever his head from the body,’ said Safdar Hussain, the first doctor to examine the body. ‘He was killed about 12 hours ago.’
Quetta is the capital of southwestern Baluchistan, Pakistan’s biggest but poorest province, where Baluch separatist militants are fighting a protracted insurgency for more autonomy and control over the area’s natural resources.
Pro-Taliban militants are also active in the province, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.
Tragic: Pakistani police officials carry the covered body along a street in Quetta
Brutal: ¿A sharp knife was used to sever his head from the body,¿ said the doctor who first examined him
Dale, who converted to Islam 30 years ago and was also known as Ken, had worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq before coming to Pakistan.
He had been managing a health programme for Baluchistan for almost a year when he was abducted, the ICRC statement said.
‘We are devastated,’ Daccord said. ‘Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause.’
Four health workers, including two doctors, were kidnapped by militants the week before Dale’s disappearance from the Pishin area of Baluchistan, near Quetta. They were freed after a shootout between police and their kidnappers.
Honoured: Mr Dale after being awarded the MBE at Buckingham Palace with his brother Ian and Ian’s wife Janet and friend Andrea