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A student was surrounded by armed FBI agents in the United States overnight after neighbours saw him with a pressure cooker and called police.

Talal al Rouki, a Saudi student living in Michigan, had been cooking a rice dish and was carrying it to a friend's house, reports the Daily Mail.

When agents who surrounded his apartment asked a "nervous" Mr al Rouki if they could come in and question him, all they found was kabsah - a traditional Saudi rice dish.

US authorities and residents have become increasingly nervous about home-made pressure-cooker devices after the Boston bombers used one to make an explosive.

"They asked me about my major, when I arrived in the US and what I do in my spare time" Mr al Rouki told the Saudi newspaper Oukaz.

An FBI agent said: "You need to be more careful moving around with such things sir."

Mr al Rouki has now become a focus of attention now in the Saudi press, the Daily Mail reports.

Officers said that two days earlier a woman had seen him walking out of his apartment carrying the pressure cooker pot, which was described as "bullet coloured".