Chile orders Pakistani back to jail
Khan was charged last week with illegal possession of explosives, but freed pending probe.
Last Modified: 22 May 2010 19:28 GMT
Police are investigating whether Khan might have had a legitimate reason for the bomb traces [AFP]

A court in Chile has ordered back to jail a Pakistani man who was briefly detained and charged after being found with traces of explosives at the US embassy in Santiago, the Chilean capital, officials have said.

The court labeled Mauhannas Saif ur Rehnab Khan, 28, "a danger to society" and revoked his freedom on Saturday after he was released last week on probation following charges of illegally possessing weapons.

The court was responding to an appeal filed by prosecutors on Thursday against Khan's release that asked he be placed under preventative detention.

The interior ministry had also joined the attorney general in requesting preventive detention.

Khan, an intern at a hotel in Santiago, went to the embassy after being called in for a discussion about his US visa, which had been revoked.

Police said traces of the explosive Tetryl were found on Khan's documents, bag and mobile telephone as he went through a security check at the embassy.

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their own investigation of the incident, but the US state department has not disclosed why Khan's American visa had been revoked.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

Al Jazeera and agencies
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