Your Pakistan

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Pakistan Briefly Detains 14 US Nationals

Posted by yourpakistan on November 18, 2011


Pakistani security forces have briefly arrested at least 14 US nationals as they took photos of sensitive military facilities in the country’s eastern province of Punjab, Press TV reported. Pakistani police and military personnel ordered the Americans, traveling in three large embassy SUVs, to pull over on a road in Rawalpindi, which is located 224 kilometers (138 miles) southwest of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, as they took photographs of sensitive installations in the city. 

The US citizens were detained for about an hour on a military base before the US Embassy in Islamabad explained in a statement that the performers were not aware of restrictions placed on photography in or near the area, and had no intention to photograph sensitive Pakistani government or military installations.

Pakistani police destroyed the images before releasing the group. Tensions between Islamabad and Washington increased following a secret US raid into Pakistan in May that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Pakistani military has since been under pressure to explain why US military helicopters freely carried out the operation on Pakistani soil.

Pakistan’s defense ministry later ordered the United States to leave a remote desert airbase in the southwestern Balochistan Province. The US had long been carrying out its unauthorized drone attacks in Pakistan from the Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan. US-Pakistan relations are already strained over the civilian casualties caused by the non-UN-sanctioned US drone attacks, which Pakistan has repeatedly condemned as violations of its sovereignty.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former US president George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama’s administration.

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