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Militants execute three 'US spies' in Pakistan: officials

world Updated: Nov 07, 2010 21:02 IST

Militants publicly executed three tribesmen in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt on Sunday after accusing them of spying for the United States, officials said.

The men, blindfolded with hands tied behind their backs, were lined up near a gas station in the lawless tribal area near the Afghan border, local police official Nasir Khan said.

"A man wearing a black mask then shot them dead one by one," he said -- adding that the militants, before killing the trio, asked local people to "come and witness the fate of US spies".

He said that about 100 people watched the executions at an open area on a road near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan and a bastion of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

The alleged spies were local tribesmen aged 25, 28 and 32, Khan said. The militants left in two cars after the killings.

A local intelligence official also confirmed the executions, which came amid a surge in US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal belt.

Militants frequently kidnap and kill tribesmen in the troubled region, accusing them of spying for the Pakistani government or US forces in Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters have been waging a vicious insurgency for nine years.