Authorities say a judge is allowing police to continue holding a U.S. Embassy employee who faces a murder charge in the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis.

The case has escalated tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan. The U.S. says the American, Raymond Davis, acted in self-defence against robbers, and that Pakistan must free him because he has diplomatic immunity. Pakistani authorities say the decision is up to the courts.

Police official Zulifqar Hameed says a judge ordered on Thursday that Mr. Davis be held another eight days.

His next court appearance is set for February 11.

Mr. Davis was arrested on January 27 after he allegedly shot and killed two gunmen in the city of Lahore. A third Pakistani died when hit by an American car rushing to the scene.

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