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US Urges Pakistan to Free American Official


Supporters of the religious and political party Jamaat-e-Islami burn the U.S flag during a protest rally against American Raymond Davis in Karachi, February 11, 2011.

Supporters of the religious and political party Jamaat-e-Islami burn the U.S flag during a protest rally against American Raymond Davis in Karachi, February 11, 2011.

U.S. President Obama is urging Pakistan to immediately free a detained American diplomat accused of killing two Pakistanis during an alleged attempted robbery.

Mr. Obama told reporters in Washington that Raymond Davis has diplomatic immunity and that the United States expects Pakistan to abide by international conventions.

The president said the U.S. will continue to work with Pakistan to secure the American official's release. But he also said the U.S. was not "callous" about the loss of life.

Davis is accused of killing two Pakistanis in the eastern city of Lahore last month.

The U.S. says he acted in self-defense when armed men tried to rob him. Pakistani police have called the diplomat a "cold-blooded murderer." Pakistani officials say the case will be decided by a court.

Angry Pakistanis led by conservative activists and politicians have held protests against Davis almost daily in several cities since the incident.

The case has also heightened tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan. U.S. Senator John Kerry is expected to discuss Davis with Pakistani officials Wednesday during a visit to Pakistan. Kerry is the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has traveled to Pakistan four times since 2009.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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