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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 09:29 GMT
Pakistan gives US 'key militant'
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani
Ghailani was reportedly arrested after a fierce gun battle (Photo: FBI)
Pakistan has handed over to the United States a key suspect in the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in 1998, Pakistani officials say.

Tanzanian Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, an alleged al-Qaeda militant who had a $5m American bounty on his head, was arrested last July.

It is not clear when he was handed over to the US or where he is now held.

Pakistan has arrested hundreds of al-Qaeda suspects since joining the US-led war on terror.

'Not wanted here'

Pakistani intelligence officials speaking on condition of anonymity have given different accounts of exactly when Mr Ghailani was handed over to the US.


"Ghailani has been handed over to US custody because he wasn't wanted in any crime over here," one official told the AFP news agency.

When asked where Ghailani was now being held another official told the Associated Press agency: "We have no idea, and as a matter of fact we don't ask such questions."

Mr Ghailani has been indicted in the US over the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

US embassy in Nairobi

More than 200 people were killed in the two explosions, including 12 American citizens. Most of the victims were Kenyans and Tanzanians.

Mr Ghailani is still on the FBI's list of 22 "most wanted terrorists".

He was held in July in the central Pakistani town of Gujrat. Several other people were arrested, including his Uzbek wife and two South African nationals, according to Pakistani officials at the time.

His arrest was hailed as the most significant strike against al-Qaeda in Pakistan after the arrest of the alleged mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, in 2002.

The BBC's Daniel Lak
"This arrest will whet appetites in America for the capture of Osama Bin Laden"

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