For the week of August 19 thru August 25, 1998  

Patterson recovering from Pakistan attack

State Department issues travel warning


By ANDREW M. SCUTRO
Express Staff Writer

Susie Patterson, the Sun Valley native and former Olympic downhill skier, is recovering after an apparent robbery attempt in Pakistan on Aug. 5 that left her injured and her husband, 53-year-old explorer Edward "Ned" Gillette dead.

"Her injuries have improved," said Susie’s mother, Joannie Patterson, on Tuesday. "I think she’ll be OK."

Patterson said her daughter has not yet returned from Pakistan. She urged that when she does return, people be kind.

"It’s going to take time to heal," Joannie Patterson said.

Susie Patterson and Gillette had been encamped while trekking in northern Pakistan outside the town of Gilgit when a gunman reportedly entered their tent with a shotgun and opened fire.

Gillette died at the scene from his wounds. Patterson was able to make it back to safety in Gilgit, where she was hospitalized with unspecified injuries. She was then moved to a hospital in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, where her brother Pete flew from the states to join her.

A State Department spokesman said Patterson had requested Gillette be cremated in Islamabad.

Two Pakistani men were arrested and detained by authorities in connection with the incident, according to reports.

Gillette and Patterson are not the only Americans who have been endangered in Pakistan.

Over the weekend, the State Department issued a "worldwide caution" in the wake of the bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

"We’ve warned against travel to Pakistan," a State Department spokesman told the Idaho Mountain Express on Monday.

The spokesman said, however, that the Gillette killing has no connection to the broader warnings to Americans living and traveling overseas and added that the murder doesn’t appear to have been politically motivated.

Instead, the high-alert situation arose from "serious credible threats" to Americans, the spokesman said.

All but emergency personnel are being evacuated from Pakistan, as well as Albania and Eritrea, according to the caution notice.

In a public announcement issued by the State Department on Aug. 16, Americans abroad are urged to "remain alert to the changing situation and exercise extreme caution."

A suspect in the embassy bombings in Africa was arrested in Pakistan over the weekend, according to wire reports.

 

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