Asia

Pakistan bails FBI agent held with bullets at airport

  • 8 May 2014
  • From the section Asia
In this photograph taken on May 6, 2014 Pakistani policemen escort an alleged US FBI agent under arrest as they leave the local court in Karachi. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The US citizen has not been named by American officials

A court in Pakistan has granted bail to an agent with the US FBI who was arrested for carrying ammunition while trying to board a flight in Karachi.

The agent was released after paying a bail bond of 1 million rupees ($10,000) and handed to the US consulate.

He was held under anti-terrorism laws after security staff found 15 bullets for a 9mm handgun in his luggage ahead of a flight to Islamabad.

The US says he was on a temporary assignment in Pakistan.

US officials have said the man was accidentally carrying the ammunition in his luggage when he was detained on Monday night.

They have refused to reveal his identity but he has been named in Pakistan.

On Wednesday, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the man was an FBI employee "on temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the US mission".

"We are co-ordinating with Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter," she said. "We are working closely with them."

American agents operating inside Pakistan have been the cause of strained relations in the past and have fuelled anti-US feeling in the country.

In 2011 there was furore when CIA contractor Raymond Davis was arrested for shooting dead two men following what he said was an attempted armed robbery in Lahore.

Mr Davis was later released after the families of the dead men accepted "blood money".

The United States and Pakistan co-operate in the global fight against Islamist militants, angering many Pakistanis.

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