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Pakistan court bails out man US said is FBI agent

KARACHI, Pakistan >> A Pakistani court released an American on bail Thursday that the U.S. had identified as an FBI agent, police said. 

The court directed the man to submit a surety bond of one million rupees ($9,800) for his bail, police officer Rao Anwaar said.

The police had detained the American on May 5 at an airport in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi after seizing ammunition and three knives from him.

The American arrived in Karachi on May 1 and was detained Monday when he was about to board a flight for Islamabad, Anwaar has said. He said officials found the man also carrying electronic devices that were being examined.

A law enforcement official in the U.S. identified the man as an FBI agent and said he was in Pakistan as part of a multi-agency, anti-corruption program. The official said the agent appeared to have made a mistake and that there’s no indication he was trying to carry bullets aboard the plane. The official said authorities are hopeful the situation will be resolved soon with the agent’s release.

The official, who did not provide the agent’s name or age, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivities of the case.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the detention Wednesday and said the U.S. was coordinating with Pakistani authorities to resolve the matter.

Washington needs Pakistan’s help fighting al-Qaida and stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan, as NATO uses Pakistani roads to supply its troops. However, relations have strained over a series of incidents. CIA contractor Raymond Davis shot and killed two Pakistani men in Lahore in January 2011. The U.S. unilaterally killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in May 2011 and American forces accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops along the Afghan border the same year. U.S. drones strikes in the country also have angered Pakistanis.

Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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