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January 31, 2002
2210 IST

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Key suspect in Pearl's case found dead

K J M Varma in Islamabad

A prime suspect in the abduction of American journalist Daniel Pearl was found dead in mysterious circumstances on Thursday, even as the scribe's captors extended by a day the deadline to kill him.

Inspector General of Police (Sindh) Syed Kamal Shah said in Karachi that a key suspect called Aarif, who was believed to have crucial information regarding Pearl's abduction, was found dead at Ahmedpur East in Punjab province.

He, however, refused to give any more details of the incident.

Meanwhile, the abductors sent another email to the media saying they had extended by one day the deadline to kill the journalist.

"We will give you one more day," the unsigned email, sent hours after the expiry of the 24 hours deadline on Thursday afternoon, said.

"If America will not meet our demands we will kill Pearl. Then this cycle will continue and no American journalist can enter Pakistan," the message said.

The abductors have demanded that all Pakistani nationals detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be returned to Pakistan for trial.

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