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Pakistan: Court acquits 4 of helping NYC bomber
Pakistani court acquits 4 men of involvement with failed 2010 Times Square bomber
By The Associated Press

ISLAMABAD (AP) ' A lawyer representing four Pakistani men accused of involvement in the 2010 Times Square bomb plot says they have been acquitted.

Malik Imran Safdar said Saturday that the prosecution failed to prove its case against his clients Muhammad Shoaib Mughal, Muhammad Shahid Husain, Humbal Akhtar and Faisal Abbasi.

The men were arrested in Pakistan following the New York City incident.



Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to trying to blow up a bomb in his SUV. It produced smoke but no explosion.

Two other men arrested Pakistan in the wake of the incident were previously released.

The lawyer for the four said they were acquitted Saturday in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) ' An American drone fired two missiles at a motorbike in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing two suspected militants, officials said, as the U.S. pushed on with its drone campaign despite repeated Pakistani protests.

This was the fifth such strike in the country in less than two weeks.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials said the missiles hit in Dogh village near Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region.

The officials said the two militants were targeted after they came out of their suspected hideout in Dogh, about six kilometers (four miles) south of the main town of Wana. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas, where Afghan and other militants have found refuge, are considered a key tactic by U.S. officials in the war against al-Qaida and its Taliban supporters.

But most of the Pakistani public resents the strikes, which are considered an affront to the nation's sovereignty.

The covert CIA-run program is a cause of tension between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Despite Pakistan's demands for a halt in the drone attacks, the U.S. has fired scores of missiles into northwest Pakistan since 2008, targeting al-Qaida and Taliban operatives there. Privately, many Pakistani military officers are believed to have supported the drone program.

The U.S. rarely talks publicly about the drone program in Pakistan, but officials have said privately that the strikes have killed senior Taliban and al-Qaida commanders.

The continuing strikes, however, have complicated negotiations between Islamabad and Washington about reopening supply routes for NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the routes six months ago in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border.


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