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FBI Agent Freed on Bail

by AFP
Asif Hassan—AFP

Asif Hassan—AFP

U.S. embassy confirms American national has been released and remains in Karachi.

An American FBI agent who was arrested in Pakistan for trying to board a plane while carrying ammunition was released on bail Thursday, officials said.

The unnamed agent was arrested at Karachi airport on Monday when security staff found him carrying 15 bullets for a 9mm handgun during routine checks for a flight to Islamabad.

A court in Karachi approved the bail application and ordered payment of a bond worth Rs. 1 million, according to senior police officer Rao Anwar. U.S. officials in the port city collected him from a police station after the payment was deposited.

“The FBI agent has been handed over to the U.S. consulate in Karachi,” a police spokesman said. An AFP photographer at the scene said the handover had taken place. The U.S. embassy in Islamabad later confirmed the FBI employee had been released on bail and remained in Karachi. “We continue to coordinate and cooperate closely with Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter,” said a spokeswoman.

The incident comes at a time of relative tranquility in Washington’s often-fraught relationship with Islamabad. Ties have improved markedly since almost collapsing in 2011 amid a series of crises including the U.S. raid in Pakistan that killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, which Islamabad branded a violation of sovereignty.

The fatal shooting of two men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Lahore in January 2011 sparked another diplomatic crisis between the two “war on terror” allies. A court eventually freed Davis following the payment of $2 million in blood money to the families of the dead men.

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