Two Libyans arrested in Pakistan amid crackdown on Afghan war veterans
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, June 10 (AFP) - Security agencies arrested two Libyans here Saturday in an ongoing crackdown on Arab Afghan war veterans in the northwestern region bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
The pair, identified as Abdus Salam and Yosuf (eds: one name), were taken into custody for staying illegally in the country, they said.
"Their arrest is part of a crackdown launched here under instructions from the federal interior ministry," said a security official, who did not want to be named.
Yousaf, who married an Afghan woman, had been living here since 1988 and Salam since 1991, the sources said.
More than two dozen Arabs of different nationalities have been held over the past month.
Two Somalis, three Algerians and one Yemeni were arrested from an Afghan refguee camp near Peshawar on Thursday, but the Somalis were later rleased as their papers were in order, the sources said.
One Jordanian, identified only as Fadil, was extradited to Jordan four days ago.
Thousands of Arab volunteers participated in the Afghan war during the 1979-89 occupation by the former Soviet Union. Many of them stayed in the region after the Soviet withdrawal.
Pakistan has been under pressure from Arab countries to curb suspected Arab militants living on its territory.
The United States has been pressing Pakistan to use its influence with Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia to persuade them to hand over suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Islamabad has said the United States should resolve the issue through direct talks with the Taliban.
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