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February 2, 2002
2047 IST

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New email claims kidnapped US scribe alive

K J M Varma in Islamabad

The mystery over the kidnapping of The Wall Street Journal scribe, Daniel Pearl, took a new turn on Saturday with a new email message claiming that he was alive and dismissing earlier messages that he has been killed, which had forced the Karachi police to comb all cemeteries in the city.

The new email message, received by Jang and other top media organisations claimed the earlier message, alleged to have been sent by his abductors stating that he was dead was fake.

The Wall Street Journal said it believes that Pearl is still alive, despite the message, which said he had been killed.

"Based on reports from Pakistan, we now believe that the both of the messages received on Friday about Danny were false. We continue to believe that Danny is alive," Managing Editor Paul Steiger said in a statement.

"Yet we have not heard from Danny's captors in two or three days," he said.

Earlier, scores of Pakistani police scoured every cemetery in the city of Karachi after CNN and Fox news received an email on Friday night claiming that the Mumbai based reporter, kidnapped in Karachi on January 23, had been killed and his body left in a cemetery.

Sindh police commissioned hundreds of policemen to comb through over 300 cemeteries in Karachi.

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