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Pakistan Releases FBI Agent on Bail

Pakistan has released an FBI agent on bail, three days after he was detained for trying to carry ammunition onto a flight.

The American was arrested May 5 after authorities at the Karachi airport found he was carrying 15 bullets for a 9 millimeter handgun and three knives during routine checks. Authorities say he was bound for the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Local officials told VOA on Thursday that the American was freed on bail after he submitted a surety bond of $10,000.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday confirmed the American's arrest. “This individual detained is an employee of the FBI who was on a temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the U.S. mission."

Psaki said Washington was working closely with Islamabad to resolve the issue.

Just prior to Thursday's bail announcement, Pakistani Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam spoke on the issue. “Yes, an FBI official was arrested at Karachi airport. The Karachi police officials already have given some preliminary details, the matter is under investigation.”

She added that the FBI agent was in Pakistan on a short-term visa for temporary duty at the American embassy, and as such, did not have diplomatic immunity.

The United States and Pakistan have been uneasy allies in the war against terrorism.

Relations between the two countries took a serious downturn in 2011, when CIA contractor Raymond Davis killed two Pakistani men he said were threatening him. The incident came months after U.S. Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil and NATO troops mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on a border post with Afghanistan. However, ties between Washington and Islamabad have improved in the past year.
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    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.