Doctor examines Pakastani accused of U.S. troop attack

Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:46pm EDT
 
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Pakistani woman suspected of links to al Qaeda and accused of trying to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was examined by a doctor on Tuesday after complaining of pain from gunshot wounds, her lawyer said.

Aafia Siddiqui, 36, a U.S.-trained neuroscientist, was ordered by a judge to receive urgent medical treatment after she appeared in court in a wheelchair and had been held in custody for a week without seeing a doctor.

"She was examined for abdominal pain related to gunshot wounds," said one of her lawyers, Elaine Sharp. The physician's report found no visible signs of infection but ordered a CT scan, according to Sharp, who said her client had stitches down the front of her torso from major surgery.

Siddiqui was shot in the abdomen last month when the United States says she tried to fire on a group of American troops who wanted to question her in Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

She had resurfaced after being declared missing for five years by human rights groups. The United States flew her to New York from Afghanistan last week and charged her with attempting to kill and assault U.S. soldiers.

Lawyers for Siddiqui, who is being held without bail, say they believe she had been secretly detained since March 2003, when she was last seen leaving her parents' home in Karachi.

Siddiqui's lawyers believe she was held in Bagram air base in Afghanistan by U.S. authorities, Sharp said.

In 2004, Siddiqui was identified by the FBI as an "al Qaeda operative and facilitator who posed a clear and present danger to America."

Siddiqui was married to a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks. Her husband was captured in 2003 and is now held at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

(Editing by Michelle Nichols and Chris Wilson)

 
<p>Pakistani Islamist party activists protest to show the solidarity with U.S.-trained neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui during a demonstration in Karachi August 10, 2008. REUTERS/Athar Hussain</p>