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Pakistan detains German man near militant stronghold

Pakistani security forces have detained a German man clad in a head-to-toe veil in the northwest as he was being driven from the militant bastion of North Waziristan on the Afghan border, police said.

world Updated: Jun 22, 2010 16:20 IST

Pakistani security forces have detained a German man clad in a head-to-toe veil in the northwest as he was being driven from the militant bastion of North Waziristan on the Afghan border, police said on Tuesday.

The man, in his mid-20s, was caught at a security checkpost on the border between North Waziristan and Bannu city on Monday, Shafqat Khan, a senior police officer in Bannu, told Reuters.

"He was in a car with two tribesmen, one of them was also wearing a burqa. They were carrying a girl in a bid to pretend they're a tribal family," he said.

Khan said the German was being interrogated by a joint investigation team.

Khan did not give further details but he suspected the German man could have links with militants in the lawless region.

North Waziristan is a known stronghold for al Qaeda and Taliban militants, and the United States has been pushing Pakistan to launch a military offensive there. But the Pakistan army says it lacks resources to do it.

Last week, police in northern Chitral detained an American for allegedly trying to sneak into Afghanistan to hunt and kill al-Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden.

Separately, Pakistani warplanes bombed militant positions in the northwestern region of Orakzai on Tuesday, killing eight militants and destroying several hideouts, security officials said.