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Two bodies found in Afghanistan identified as missing Japanese

September 03, 2005 20:05 IST
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Japan's foreign ministry confirmed on Saturday that two bodies found in southern Afghanistan are those of Japanese teachers missing in the region since last month. This was established after examining dental records and autopsy results.

Jun Fukusho, 44, and Shinobu Hasegawa, 30, both junior high school teachers from Hiroshima in western Japan, have been missing since August 8, when they crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan. They travelled to Pakistan on holiday on August 6 and were to return to Japan on August 19.

Autopsies conducted earlier today indicated the bodies were those of the two persons, while dental records matched those of the teachers, said ministry official Takanori Amemiya. Ministry officials have notified their families.

They are believed to have been killed up to a month ago after being shot in the head point-blank, said a statement from the ministry, quoting hospital officials.

Earlier today, Hassan Halemi, head of the pathology department at Kabul University ,where the autopsies were carried out, said autopsies on the bodies confirmed the above.

Japan's NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation) showed a black knapsack and a pair of dusty sneakers, saying that their bags contained Japanese coins. It said the bodies are expected to be moved to Afghanistan's military hospital and then taken out of the country after further forensic examination.

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