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Americas
Chile charges detained Pakistani
Muhammad Khan's charges follow his arrest at US embassy with illegal explosives.
Last Modified: 16 May 2010 01:02 GMT
Police are investigating whether Khan might have had a legitimate reason for the bomb traces [AFP]

A Pakistani man arrested at the US embassy in Chile after triggering an explosive detector has been charged with illegal possession of explosives, but freed later pending a probe.

The man, identified by the US state Department as 28-year-old Muhammad Saif-ur-Rehman Khan, was taken into custody at the embassy on Monday.

Khan must stay in Chile and check in with authorities once a week. Prosecutors have three more months to develop their case.

Defence attorney Gabriel Carrion said the judge declined to charge Khan with associating with terrorists for lack of evidence and that his client was innocent.

Police said traces of the explosive Tetryl were found on Khan's documents and mobile telephone.

Tetryl is a compound used as a booster to help detonate explosive charges.

US officials say they will conduct their own investigation of the incident, but the US state department has not disclosed why Khan's American visa had been revoked.

PJ Crowley, the state department spokesman, acknowledged at a news conference on Tuesday that there might be a legitimate reason for the trace amounts of explosives.

"It's a fair question, but this is all something that will come out while we're reviewing during the course of the investigation," Crowley said.

A local newspaper, El Mercurio, reported that Khan was in Chile to study tourism.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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