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CIA spy chief pulled from Pakistan

The CIA has pulled its top spy out of Pakistan after threats were made against his life, according to officials.

A Pakistani lawsuit has accused him by name of killing civilians in missile strikes.

The lawsuit blew the American spy's cover, leading to threats against him and forcing the US to call him home, the officials said.

CIA officials' "serious concerns" for the station chief's safety led to the decision to bring him home, they said.

The Pakistani lawsuit also named CIA director Leon Panetta and Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

CIA air strikes from unmanned aircraft have killed terrorist leaders but have led to accusations in Pakistan that the strikes have killed innocent people.

The US does not acknowledge the missile strikes, but there have been more than 100 such attacks this year - more than double the amount in 2009.

The CIA's work is unusually difficult in Pakistan, one of the US's most important counter-terrorism allies.

The station chief in Islamabad operates as a secret general in the US war against terrorism. He runs the Predator drone programme targeting terrorists, handles some of the CIA's most urgent and sensitive tips, and collaborates closely with Pakistan's intelligence agency - one of the most important relationships in the spy world.

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