The beheaded body of a kidnapped British doctor working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was found dumped by the roadside on Sunday in the southwestern Pakistan city of Quetta, police and Red Cross officials said.
Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was abducted by suspected militants on Jan. 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.”
British Foreign Secretary William Hague also condemned the killing.
“This was a senseless and cruel act, targeting someone whose role was to help the people of Pakistan, and causing immeasurable pain to those who knew Mr. Dale,” Mr. Hague said in the statement.
Police discovered Mr. 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.
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.
Mr. Dale 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 program for Baluchistan for almost a year when he was abducted, the ICRC statement said.
“We are devastated,” Mr. 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 Mr. Dale’s disappearance from the Pishin area of Baluchistan, near Quetta. They were freed after a shootout between police and their kidnappers.
Also Sunday, American missiles killed two suspected Islamist militants sheltering in an abandoned school in North Waziristan, said intelligence officials who did not give their names because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The strike comes as the U.S. is trying to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan, which opposes the missile attacks and has demanded they stop. The frequency of the attacks, which critics say kill innocents and energize the insurgency, has dropped dramatically this year.