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Pakistan Denies Arresting Army Major for US Ties


Pakistani children walk past the house of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan (File Photo - May 8, 2011)

Pakistani children walk past the house of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan (File Photo - May 8, 2011)

Pakistan's army is rejecting reports one of its officers was arrested in a round-up of informants who are said to have facilitated the U.S. raid that killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Pakistani Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas Wednesday called the report of the officer's arrest "false and totally baseless."

The statement came in reaction to a story in Wednesday's New York Times. The U.S. newspaper reported that Pakistan's spy agency arrested five Pakistanis who gave information to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency ahead of the May 2 raid on bin Laden's hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

A Pakistani military official confirmed to VOA that arrests have been made, but said no military officials had been detained in connection with the U.S. military operation.

The New York Times story said the five detainees included a Pakistani army major who recorded the license plate numbers of cars visiting bin Laden's house.

U.S. officials told the Times CIA Director Leon Panetta raised the issue of the detained informants with military and intelligence officials in Pakistan during a visit to the country last week.

The fate of the detainees is not clear.

A CIA spokeswoman said the agency has a strong relationship with its Pakistani counterparts and works through issues when they arise.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have been tense since commandos raided bin Laden's hideout near Islamabad and killed the al-Qaida leader.

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