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US seeks cause of Afridi sentence

Disbelieving the 'new story' from Pakistan that a doctor who helped CIA track Osama bin Laden was jailed for his links to militants, the US has sought clarification from Islamabad on the matter.

'We do not believe in this new story (on Dr Shakeel Afridi),' a senior Obama administration official said, adding that the State Department has sought clarification from Pakistan on this confusing signal coming from the country.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that he does not agree with the argument that Afridi had links with certain terrorist groups.

A Pakistani tribal court, which sentenced Afridi to 33 years in prison, had convicted him for maintaining close links with the Lashkar-e-Islam, which operates in Bara and Tirah areas of Khyber tribal agency, and not for his involvement with CIA, according to Pakistani media.

Earlier, Pakistan's state-run APP news agency had said that Afridi had been convicted for helping the CIA track bin Laden by running a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed in a news briefing that the US has sought clarification from Pakistan on this issue. 'We are actually seeking clarity on those latest reports. I'm aware of what you're,' he said on Wednesday.
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