ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Law-enforcement agencies have arrested a Yemeni national who is an important figure in Al Qaeda's new leadership and another foreign national who is one of the network's communications specialists, officials said on Wednesday.

The Yemeni, identified as Saleh Nauman, was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore about 10 days ago while trying to slip out of Pakistan, an intelligence official told Reuters.

"He is an important figure in Al Qaeda's new leadership," said the official, who asked not to be named. "He had been here in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the last eight years and wanted to sneak out of the country."

The man had arrived in Lahore from Islamabad about 10 days before he was intercepted by intelligence agents in the city, another intelligence official said.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told Reuters authorities had arrested another suspect, who he identified as Abdul Rehman, a communications expert for Al Qaeda.

He said the man was arrested in Peshawar, not far from the Afghan border, three days ago. "He is a communications expert, but I do not know any other details," he told Reuters.

Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, head of the government's Crisis Management Cell, said investigators were trying to determine Rehman's real identity but added that he was not a senior Al Qaeda figure.

"No, not at all," he said when asked if he was among leading Al Qaeda figures for whom the United States has offered rewards.-Reuters

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