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Pakistan hands over key Bali suspect to Indonesia

August 10, 2011

In this 2007 file photo obtained by the Associated Press from a Philippine security official, Indonesian militant Umar Patek addresses fellow militants in an Abu Sayyaf mountain encampment on Jolo island in southern Philippines. – AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is extraditing a key suspect in the 2002 Bali bombing to Indonesia on Wednesday, a senior Pakistani security official said.

Pakistani security agents arrested Umar Patek in January in Abbottabad, a garrison town in the northwest where US Navy SEALS killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a secret raid in May.

“Patek is being sent back to Indonesia today,” the official said on condition of anonymity. He did not say when he would land in Jakarta.

Security analysts say Patek is one of the few Indonesian militants who would be able to explain to authorities the connections and extent of cooperation between Islamist militant groups in Asia.

Patek was reported to have been injured during the shootout with the security forces that resulted in his arrest.

The bombing of a nightclub in the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people. Since then, several key figures in the Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiah (JI) which was blamed for the attacks have been killed or captured. – Reuters