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Pakistan denies army major's arrest for CIA links

June 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Five of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the CIA in the months leading up to the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden have been arrested, according to American officials.

The New York Times, which first reported the arrests of the informants Tuesday, said an army major was detained who copied license plates of cars visiting the al Qaeda chief's compound. But a Pakistani army spokesman denied an army major was arrested.

The group of detained Pakistanis included the owner of a safe house rented to the CIA to observe bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, an army town not far from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, a U.S. official said.

The American officials said the fate of the informants is unclear. It appears to be another example of the disconnect between Pakistani and American priorities on the war on terror.

Some in Washington note that Pakistani authorities are arresting those who assisted in the raid instead of hunting down the support network that allowed bin Laden to hide in Pakistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this story