Explosives investigation at US Embassy in Chile; Pakistani man detained

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The U.S. Embassy is in Chile's capital, Santiago

A Pakistani man, identified as Muhammad Saif-ur-Rehman Khan, 28, was arrested in Chile on Monday after he was found with traces of explosives in the US Embassy.

Chilean police say that traces of Tetryl, used to help detonate explosives, were detected. Yesterday a judge ordered Khan's continued detention under anti-terrorism laws.

It has been reported that Khan was in Chile for four months, and was called to the embassy to be told that his visa]] for the US was revoked. A US official told Reuters that "based on the information that we had, we revoked his visa." The official declined to give the reason behind the decision, saying only that "[we] are required to notify individuals when we take that action and we invited him in."

Khan spoke briefly to Chilean journalists and denied he was a terrorist or that he was handling explosives. "I've never seen anything like this in my life," he said, claiming that the US "just want to hide the damage they have caused to Iraq and Afghanistan."

This is not the first incident involving explosives at the US Embassy in Santiago; after the September 11 attacks of 2001, the embassy was sent a letter bomb that was defused.