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Pakistan arrests five CIA informants over bin Laden raid

AFP/Mike Theiler

Pakistan has arrested five Pakistani CIA informants for helping the US agency kill Osama bin Laden earlier this year, according to The New York Times. CIA director Leon Panetta raised the arrests with Pakistani military and intelligence officers on a visit to the country last week.

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The five, who have been arrested by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, include a man who provided accommodation for the CIA team and an army major who noted the

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

licence numbers of cars which approached the bin Laden compound, according to the paper.

Pakistan has denied the claim and its US ambassador Husain Haqqani told the paper that the two countries’ spy agencies are “working out mutually agreeable terms for their cooperation in fighting the menace of terrorism”.

Relations between the CIA and the ISI have deteriorated since a CIA agent shot a man on a street in Rawalpindi, according to the New York Times.

The bin Laden raid has deepened mutual suspicion with Pakistani authorities embarassed that the operation was carried out without their knowledge and charges that the ISI covered up the al-Qaeda chief's presence.

ISI employees have resisted performing surveillance operations for the CIA, refused to grant visas to its agents and threatened to restrict US drone strikes, the paper says.

The CIA is thinking of relocating some of its drones, which carry out technically illegal operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas, to Afghanistan.

And a programme to train Pakistani paramilitaries has ended, with about 120 advisers leaving the country.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed to Pakistan to support efforts to reach a peace deal with the Taliban on a visit to Islamabad Sunday.

Violence in the Pakistani port city of Karachi has claimed at least 24 lives since Monday, according to local media.

Gunmen are reported to have shot dead three people, including two children, on Wednesday after eight targeted killings overnight.

Tension between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP) has raised fears of an escalation, although commentators say that criminal gangs use political conflict as a cover for their own vendettas.

Last year 748 people, 447 of whom were political activists, were killed in targeted shootings in Karachi last year.
 

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