Page last updated at 20:41 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 21:41 UK

US embassy security firm raided

A Pakistani police officer shows a pistol and other confiscated weapons at a police station in Islamabad, Pakistan (19 Sept 2009)
Police allege that no licences were produced for the seized weapons

Police in Pakistan say they have raided the offices of a private security firm hired by the US embassy in Islamabad.

The offices of the Inter-Risk company were entered and around 70 weapons were seized and two personnel arrested.

Officials in Pakistan allege that the haul of 61 assault riffles, nine pistols and ammunition were unlicensed.

It follows allegations that the US is using the security firm once known as Blackwater. The US embassy in Islamabad denies it has any contract with them.

The media in Pakistan have reported that the US embassy in Islamabad was involved in hiring the firm Xe services, formerly known as Blackwater, a company which was embroiled in allegations of civilian killings while hired to protect US diplomats in Iraq.

A spokesman for the US embassy, Rick Snelsire, has confirmed a contract with Inter-Risk exists and said that "It is our understanding they [Inter-Risk] obtained licenses [for] whatever they brought into the country to meet their contractual needs."

The US has denied it uses Xe services in Pakistan.

A senior police official, Rana Akram, said that two Inter-Risk employees were detained and are being questioned. They were now seeking the company's owner, a retired Pakistani army captain, the official added.

Police have denied any connection between the raid on Inter-Risk and the US embassy, but said they were working to protect foreigners living in the Islamabad and increasing vigilance ahead of the Muslim feast which marks the end of Ramadan.

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