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Pakistan arrests five al Qaeda suspects

Two detained in Peshawar, three in Karachi


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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani security agents arrested five suspected al Qaeda members Friday in separate raids in Peshawar and Karachi, officials said.

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In Peshawar, two suspects were taken into custody at an Internet cafe after they were overpowered by six security agents in civilian dress.

Officials were tight-lipped about the identities of the suspects, though one was described a Yemeni national in his 20s named Khalid. The second suspect was Pakistani.

In the port city of Karachi, three suspected al Qaeda members were arrested, and police found six bombs, bombshells, identity cards, an audiocassette, literature and pictures of Osama bin Laden.

A senior security agency officer told CNN that the men were planning to attack sensitive sites in Karachi.

Last week, Pakistani authorities detained a brother of a suspected al Qaeda leader who was arrested last month in Thailand and handed over to the CIA.

Rusman Gunawan was among 17 people arrested last Saturday in raids on three Islamic schools in Karachi. He is the younger brother of Hambali, who is believed to have been al Qaeda's point man in Southeast Asia before his arrest by Thai authorities in August.

Police say Hambali heads Jemaah Islamiyah, a terror group linked to al Qaeda. He is accused of planning last year's bombings in Bali, Indonesia, which killed more than 200, and a bombing at a hotel in Jakarta last month.

The government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is a U.S. ally in the war on terror declared by U.S. President Bush.

In March, Pakistani authorities arrested Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man believed to be the key planner of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His detention in a raid in an Islamabad suburb was described by U.S. officials as the single most important in the war on terror since the terrorist hijacking attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

According to government officials quoted last week, Mohammed told his interrogators that it was bin Laden who suggested hijacking commercial airliners to carry out the attacks.

Bin Laden is believed to be hiding along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.


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