updated 10/15/2008 7:26:14 PM ET 2008-10-15T23:26:14

Pakistani intelligence agents re-arrested an American detained in the country's volatile Afghan border region and were questioning him, police said Wednesday.

The man — identified by police as Jude Kenan — was carrying a laptop computer when he was arrested Monday at a checkpoint in the northwestern district of Mohmand, near where Pakistani security forces have battled Islamic militants for two months, authorities said.

District police chief Waqif Khan said the 20-year-old was released Tuesday but was picked up hours later at his home in the nearby city of Peshawar.

"He is now in the custody of intelligence agencies, who are required to quiz him again for further satisfaction," Khan said.

Peshawar is the main city in the northwest and lies outside the tribal zone, where special permission is needed to visit.

Khan said the man had dual American-Pakistani citizenship.

Kenan's uncle, Evan Risueno, said Kenan left for Pakistan on Oct. 3 from Raleigh, N.C., and planned to visit his father, who is Pakistani, and two sisters who live in Pakistan.

Risueno said Kenan had not spoken with his mother, father or sisters since his arrest.

"He's been there in the past, without any problem. All of my sister's children have been there without any problem," Risueno said from his home in eastern North Carolina.

Risueno said his sister was first told about her son's arrest by a U.S. government official. "She was contacted by someone from the U.S. consulate in Pakistan," he said.

Risueno said his sister declined to speak with the media Wednesday, having been on the phone most of the day with government officials.

Militant hotbed
In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said U.S. officials had visited and spoken with the man. He declined to confirm the detainee's name, citing privacy concerns.

He said that generally U.S. officials in such a situation can provide a list of lawyers who might be able to help, provide food and clothing and try to help the person communicate with family members. "We try to help them out as best we can," McCormack said.

Pakistan is battling a growing militant threat in the northwest, where al-Qaida and Taliban fighters have established bases and plan attacks on American and NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan.

Security forces killed four suspected militants overnight in the area, the latest casualties in a major military offensive against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters there, said Jamil Khan, the no 2. government representative in the area.

Khan said the main Bajur town of Khar is under curfew and that fresh troops were flowing in along with tanks and artillery.

In other violence, militants fired rockets late Tuesday at a security post near Darra Adam Khel, another area of the northwest, killing two paramilitary troops and wounding three, said Rashid Khan, a local government official.

The United Nations said Tuesday almost 190,000 people had fled the fighting in Bajur, either across the border to Afghanistan or to other towns in northwest Pakistan.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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