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Suspected Extremists Rounded Up In Pakistan; Cairo Clears Chemist

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

KARACHI, Pakistan, July 19 -- Pakistani security forces detained about two dozen suspected Islamic extremists Tuesday in a crackdown ordered in response to disclosures that three of the suspected London transit bombers visited Pakistan, security officials said.

None of those detained appears to have had direct knowledge of the bombings. "As far as the London attack is concerned, so far we are chasing nameless individuals and organization," a senior police official in Punjab said.

In Cairo, a government spokesman said Tuesday that an Egyptian chemist wanted by Britain for questioning about the bombings had no links to the July 7 attacks or to al Qaeda, the Associated Press reported.

Government spokesman Magdy Rady said in a statement that a cabinet meeting Tuesday reviewed an Interior Ministry report that "made clear that there is no link between Egyptian chemist Magdy el-Nashar with al Qaeda or the bombings."

The chemist, who obtained a doctorate from Leeds University in England, was detained last week by Egyptian authorities at the request of the British government, which suspects he had links to some of the four suspected bombers, three of whom were from Leeds.

-- Kamran Khan

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