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Pakistani Authorities Arrest 2 Police Officers After Terror Suspect's Escape


Pakistani authorities have arrested two police officers in connection with Saturday's escape of a British terror suspect.

Police detained the officers on charges they were negligent while escorting Rashid Rauf. Rauf escaped when officers allowed him to visit a mosque for prayers on his way back to jail in the city of Rawalpindi from a court appearance.

Police are questioning the officers to determine whether they actually helped Rauf escape.

Pakistani authorities have also detained Rauf's two uncles and raided his home in Bahwalpur in Punjab province.

Rauf, a British national of Pakistani descent, was arrested in Pakistan in August 2006. Authorities in the West say he had a key role in a terrorist plot to blow up passenger airliners traveling between Britain and the United States using liquid explosives.

Pakistani officials have launched a high-level inquiry into the case that is seen as a major embarrassment for the government of President Pervez Musharraf.

Rauf had been charged in Pakistan with having false identification papers and possessing chemicals that could be used to make explosives.

Pakistani authorities dropped their charges against Rauf last month and began proceedings to extradite him to Britain, where he faces murder charges involving the death of his uncle five years ago.

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