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Beheaded Polish Engineer Piotr Stanczak's Body Returned From Pakistan

04/29/09 10:19 AM ET   AP

Piotr Stanczak

WARSAW, Poland — The remains of a Polish geologist beheaded by Islamic militants in Pakistan were returned Wednesday to Poland in a casket draped in the two countries' flags and covered in flowers.

Piotr Stanczak's body was flown to Warsaw's military airport on a Pakistani air force plane. In a short ceremony on the tarmac, a Roman Catholic priest prayed over the white casket.

Dressed in black, Stanczak's son and girlfriend stood briefly by the casket, their heads bowed.

The geologist was one of a handful of foreigners kidnapped in Pakistan in recent months as the country witnessed a deterioration in security along with a rise in al-Qaida and Taliban-led violence.

Stanczak was kidnapped Sept. 28 close to the Afghan border while he was carrying out a project for a Krakow-based geophysics company that surveys oil and gas fields.

He was held hostage for several months before his captors beheaded him in February, a killing that they videotaped.

On Sunday, a car dropped the casket near a paramilitary camp in Razmak, Pakistan. Officials then confirmed the remains were those of Stanczak.

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Filed by Stuart Whatley  |