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Detained Pakistani journalist released by US authorities

world Updated: Aug 20, 2009 17:35 IST

US immigration authorities have released a Pakistani journalist who reports for the Voice of America and whose home was destroyed by Taliban militants last month.

Rahman Bunairee was freed yesterday, more than a week after he arrived in the US and was taken into custody at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

The Department of Homeland Security has refused to comment on his case, citing privacy reasons.

Bunairee was released after US customs authorities apparently resolved questions about his visa, VOA reported on its website. Bunairee's ultimate legal status and right to remain in the US will be determined at a future immigration hearing.

The journalist is currently reviewing his legal options with his attorney.

VOA's parent agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, issued a statement welcoming Bunairee's release and describing him as a man of "extraordinary courage and dedication".

Bunairee traveled to Washington to help VOA develop its broadcasts to the troubled Afghanistan-Pakistan border region through the Radio Deewa service. He came to the US after a group of militants blew up his residence in northwestern Pakistan's Buner district early last month.