Washington Star/Evening Star

May 09 1971

Cities of East Pakistan Show Wide Devastation

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Long rows or shops and homes in the non-Bengali sector of Khulna were badly burned apparently by Bengalis, but other sections including solid brick buildings in the Bengali-dominated town were devastated as if by explosives or Pakistani army artillery.

In Jessore, newsmen saw the grave of a 59-year-old Italian priest reported to have been gunned down by Pakistani soldiers in his mission hospital complex.

Four East Pakistanis, including a mother and 14-year-old boy, also were killed by the troops in the attack, residents said.

According to an authenticated report, the Rev.. Mario Veronesi, who had been here 18 years, walked out of the small mission house the morning of April 4 as two soldiers approached.

He was cut down by automatic fire as he raised his hands, it was reported.


A fellow priest buried him nearby the following day, taking 6 1/2 hours because of gunfire whistling around him.

A nun from the mission is reported to have left for the Vatican with the blood-soaked Red Cross badge the priest was wearing when he was shot.

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