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TERRORISM

Swede held in Pakistan ‘refuses to be released’: official

A 19-year-old Swedish woman is still being held in Islamabad after having declined several times to be released without her husband, Pakistani officials report.

Rumours circulated last week that Safia Benaouda and her two-year-old son had been released from prison, a speculation that could not be confirmed by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet).

But according to a high ranking Pakistani official, Benaouda still remains in custody – by her own choosing.

“She won’t leave without her husband,” Pakistani Home Secretary Rehman Malik told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“She and her son are doing well. We are very considerate of her special circumstances.”

Speaking to Sveriges Television (SVT), Malik also confirmed that there is no concrete evidence against the Swedes. The trio are only guilty of violating visa regulations.

Benaouda was arrested in northern Pakistan on August 28th, along with her husband, their 2-year-old son and Mehdi Gezhali, a Swedish national once imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

The group was arrested on the border of the North-western province, Waziristan, in a forbidden zone containing nuclear facilities.

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TERRORISM

Swede among ‘terror’ suspects arrested in the Netherlands

Dutch police have arrested four men including a Swedish citizen suspected of being involved in terror-related activities, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Swede among 'terror' suspects arrested in the Netherlands
Stock image/Depositphotos

“Rotterdam police detained four men early on Sunday evening on suspicion of being involved in terrorism,” the public prosecution's office said in a statement.

One of the men, aged 29, arrived on a flight from Stockholm earlier on Sunday while the other three aged 21, 23 and 30 come from the cities of Vlaardingen, Delft and Gouda in southwest Netherlands.

Dutch police raided three homes in the three cities and seized data but found no weapons or explosives, the statement said.

Although “there is no concrete information to indicate a terror attack, police and the public prosecution's office are not taking any chances,” prosecutors said without giving further information.

The suspects remain in custody pending a court appearance.

A Dutch citizen was sentenced to four years in November for preparing a terror attack following his arrest in Rotterdam last year, when police discovered an assault rifle and a large amount of fireworks.

In another scare, Dutch military police shot and wounded a man armed with a knife at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport earlier this month, but authorities said the incident was not terror-related.

The Netherlands has so far been spared from the slew of terror attacks to have rocked its closest European neighbours in recent years.