Washington/Islamabad: US official Raymond Davis, arrested for killing two men in Lahore, was a CIA agent in Pakistan tasked with keeping a trail on movements of Pakistani militant groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, media reports said on Tuesday.

British paper The Guardian said, based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, that it can confirm that Davis, a former Special Forces soldier is employed by the CIA.

It quoted a senior Pakistani intelligence official as saying that "it's beyond a shadow of doubt".

While the CIA refused to comment on the report, a New York Times report said quoting American officials that Davis was part of a covert CIA-led team of operatives, conducting surveillance on militant groups deep inside Pakistan.

"For the Pakistanis, such spying inside their country is an extremely delicate issue, particularly since Lashkar has longstanding ties to Pakistan's intelligence service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI," the paper said.

The disclosures may complicate US efforts to seek the release of Davis, who claims to have fired in self-defence when the two attempted to rob him.

State Department spokesman P J Crowley refused to comment on the issue during his press briefing in Washington on Tuesday.

37-year-old Davis has been charged with murder after he shot at the two men who had pulled up in front of his car at a traffic signal on January 25.

Pak court agrees for Davis' trial in jail
A Pakistani court on Tuesday accepted the government's request to hold the trial of US official Raymond Davis, arrested for gunning down two men last month, in a heavily guarded jail for security reasons.

The prosecution department of Punjab government had filed an application in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Yousuf Aujla asking for Davis' trial to be held in the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail where he is currently being held.

Aujla accepted the application and ordered that proceedings should be held within Kot Lakhpat Jail from February 25.


(Agencies)