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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pakistanis Search for Journalist

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Hundreds of Pakistani police searched cemeteries for evidence of the fate of kidnapped reporter Daniel Pearl, but by Saturday had discovered nothing to back an e-mail claim that the American had been killed and his body dumped in a graveyard.

In New York, the Wall Street Journal said it believed that both an e-mail sent Friday claiming that Pearl was dead and a telephone message demanding ransom money were hoaxes. The newspaper urged the kidnappers either to release Pearl or "demonstrate that Danny remains alive" by providing a photo of him showing a current newspaper.

Pearl, a 38-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter, was abducted Jan. 23 in Karachi while pursuing an interview with the founder of a militant Muslim sect. His wife, Marianne, is six months pregnant with their first child.

Police reported several additional arrests in the case, including the father and other relatives of a key suspect -- a member of a Muslim extremist group whose family reported he had recently died in Afghanistan. Provincial authorities said they picked up several people late Friday as part of an investigation into who had been sending e-mails but released all of them Saturday.

Officials refused to say if they were any closer to finding Pearl or his abductors. Overnight Friday, police combed through the 300 cemeteries in Karachi, a city of 12 million people. They began the hunt after CNN and Fox News received e-mails Friday claiming Pearl had been killed.