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Pakistani Doctor Who Helped CIA Find Osama Gets 33 Years In Jail

PESHAWAR – A Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden has been jailed for 33 years for treason, officials said, a move likely to deepen strains in ties between Washington and Islamabad.

Shakil Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign believed to have helped the American intelligence agency track bin Laden in a Pakistani town, where he was killed in a US special forces raid last May.

“Dr Shakil has been sentenced to 33 years imprisonment and a fine of 320,000 Pakistani rupees ($3,477),” said Mohammad Nasir, a government official in the northwestern city of Peshawar, where the jail term will be served.

The imprisonment is likely to anger ally Washington at a sensitive time, with both sides engaged in difficult talks over re-opening Nato supply routes to US-led troops in Afghanistan.

Senior US officials had made public appeals for Pakistan, a recipient of billions of dollars in American aid, to release Afridi, detained after the unilateral operation which killed bin Laden and strained ties with Islamabad.

In January, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a television interview that Afridi and his team had been key in finding bin Laden, describing him as helpful and insisting the doctor had not committed treason or harmed Pakistan.

The US raid that killed bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad, just a few hours drive from the capital Islamabad, humiliated Pakistan’s

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