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Germany Issues Arrest Warrants Over Alleged CIA Kidnapping


German prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 13 people in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a German citizen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, says the CIA abducted him in December 2003 in Macedonia, and then flew him to a jail in Afghanistan. There, he said he was beaten, isolated and injected with drugs, before being set free in Albania five months later.

Spanish police probing the case gave the names of the suspected U.S. agents to prosecutors in Munich. The suspects have not been publicly identified, and prosecutors say the names probably are aliases.

Some of the suspected CIA employees named in the arrest warrant are reported to live in the southern U.S. state of North Carolina. But U.S. authorities have refused to cooperate with German investigators.

El-Masri says he still does not know why he was abducted. He is pursuing a $75,000 compensation claim against the CIA in a U.S. appeals courts. A federal court judge dismissed the case in May, ruling that a trial could reveal state secrets and harm national security.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the United States has acknowledged making a mistake with el-Masri. The Bush administration has refused to comment on the case.

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