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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Pakistan deports al-Qaeda suspect
Abu Faraj al-Libbi
Libbi was arrested following a gunfight near Peshawar
A key al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, has been handed over to the US, a Pakistani official has confirmed.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani confirmed a statement by President Pervez Musharraf in a Dubai newspaper that Libbi had been deported.

Libbi, captured in Pakistan in May, is described by US and Pakistani security sources as "al-Qaeda's number three".

Libbi is a Libyan suspected of twice trying to kill Mr Musharraf in 2003. In the second attempt, 17 people died.

Mr Musharraf told CNN last week: "We are obviously going to deport him. We don't want him in Pakistan."

Mr Musharraf said there were "bigger issues" at stake than bringing Libbi to trial in Pakistan.

The president said Libbi had shown no signs that he had had any contact with Osama Bin Laden, who has been in hiding since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

Libbi was arrested following a gunfight near Peshawar on 2 May.

The US and Pakistan hailed his arrest as the most important since the capture of the suspected mastermind of the 11 September attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in 2003.

But Libbi does not appear on a US wanted list, and other observers have cast doubt on his al-Qaeda credentials.


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