18 May 2011

Pakistan arrests 'senior al-Qaeda member'

9:04 am on 18 May 2011

Military officials in Pakistan say a senior member of al-Qaeda has been arrested in the southern city of Karachi.

Mohammed Ali Qasim, also known as Abu Suhaib al-Makki, had been working under al-Qaeda leaders along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the army said in a statement.

The army said his arrest was a "major development in unravelling the al-Qaeda network operating in the region".

Few other details were provided about Qasim's arrest. It is unclear what ranking he had in al-Qaeda, and when exactly he was detained, the BBC says.

However, a security source told the Reuters news agency that he had been "hiding in a house right in the middle" of Karachi.

The source said the arrest had been made after intelligence operations begain in various cities on 2 May - the day Osama bin Laden was killed by US commandos on Pakistani soil.

The BBC reports that since Osama Bin Laden was found, the country's military establishment has been under scrutiny and pressure.