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Families plea for Pakistan nuclear arrest trio

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The families of two former workers for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and one other, said to be a businessman, appealed Wednesday for their release after the three were detained by intelligence officials.

The families said that Mirza Yusuf Baig, Bashir uddin Mahmood, and Abdul Majeed were detained for questioning by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.

The family members said as many as four other people may also have been detained. Asia
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Mahmood and Majeed are both retired engineers who worked for the commission.

Baig is a wealthy businessman from Lahore, Pakistan, CNN has learned. His connection to the other two men is unclear.

A U.S. government source familiar with the situation said some former nuclear employees had been questioned about "possible links to the Taliban" rulers of Afghanistan.

The families protested that all three have had nothing to do with "any terrorist or anti-Pakistan organization."

The families said the health of all three had deteriorated and that Mahmood had suffered a heart attack and is now being housed at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology.

"As you are aware that they are eminent nuclear scientists who have served this country to the best of their abilities," said the family statement.

"They do not have any association with any terrorist or anti-Pakistan organization."


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