"Officials say an American CIA contractor detained [in Pakistan] on suspicion of murder has been released after families of the two Pakistanis he killed pardoned him in exchange for compensation," The Associated Press reports. "Raymond Allen Davis has been in jail since Jan. 27, seriously straining ties between Pakistan and the United States."
Pakistan's Dawn Media reports that "a Pakistan court on Wednesday freed CIA contractor Raymond Davis after blood money was paid in accordance with sharia law, the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said."
Sky News is on the story as well.
Update at 2:10 p.m. ET: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also spoke earlier today with NPR's Steve Inskeep. She told him as well that "the United States did not pay any compensation" to obtain Davis' release, and declined to answer questions about where the money came from.
Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, while on a visit to Egypt, welcomed Davis' release and told reporters that "the United States did not pay any compensation," Reuters reports. Asked whether the Pakistani government might have done so, Clinton said "you will have to ask the Pakistani government."
Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. NPR's Julie McCarthy just spoke to NPR Newscast's Dave Mattingly by telephone from Lahore, Pakistan. She told him that Davis was cleared on the murder charges but convicted on a charge of possession an illegal firearm. He was basically given a sentence of "time served" and then released.
Julie adds that "traditionally there is something under Islamic law that allows money to change hands" when a family forgives someone in Davis' position. "We're not aware of what sort of amount has changed hands."
We've taken three parts of Julie's conversation with Dave and spliced them together to create one file:
Update at 9:20 a.m. ET: NPR's Julie McCarthy, who is in Pakistan, has been told by Davis' lawyer that the reports are true.