British suspect in trans-Atlantic jet plot escapes, on the run in Pakistan

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December 17, 2007 03:11

 
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Pakistani authorities are hunting for a Briton suspected in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners who escaped police custody, a deep embarrassment to the government of President Pervez Musharraf. Rashid Rauf fled Saturday after appearing before a judge at a court in the capital Islamabad in connection with an inquiry before his extradition to Britain, Interior Secretary Kamal Shah said Sunday. Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz assured Ambassador Robert Brinkely that the suspect's capture was a "priority," British High Commission spokeswoman Laura Davies said. Rauf managed to open his handcuffs and evade two police guards who were supposed to take him back to jail in nearby Rawalpindi, police said Saturday. "We are still trying to ascertain where he managed to escape," Shah said, adding it was unclear if Rauf slipped away at the court complex or en route to the jail. "The two constables are being interrogated for their criminal negligence."

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