Pakistan arrests nine suspected terrorists

January 30th, 2009 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 30 (DPA) Pakistani police captured nine people they accused of being involved in a string of bombings, including last year’s suicide attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad, for which Al Qaeda claimed responsibility, media reports said Friday.Rawalpindi police chief Rao Muhammad Iqbal announced the arrests and said the men had confessed to their involvement in at least five suicide attacks carried out in the capital city and its neighbouring garrison town of Rawalpindi.

The suspects were detained in a police raid on their hideout in Rawalpindi’s Dhoke Lakhan neighbourhood, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Iqbal as saying Thursday night. However, the news agency did not mention when the operation was carried out.

Around 100 kg of explosives and devices used to make bombs were seized during the raid, he said.

On June 2, 2008 six people were killed in a suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy. The attack took place less than three months after a bombing at an upscale restaurant, Luna Caprese, which left a Turkish aid worker dead and around a dozen more foreigners, including four FBI officials, injured.

The detainees were also accused of involvement in a suicide attack that killed the military’s top medical officer, Lieutenant General Mushtaq Baig, as well as the bombing of a bus carrying officers of the Army Medical Corps.

The suspects were accused of having links with senior Taliban militant Baitullah Mehsud, who commands thousands of fighters from his sanctuary in the South Waziristan tribal district close to the Afghan border, according to the Dawn newspaper.

The police said they believed that the detainees were planning an attack on a military parade held annually in Islamabad on March 23 to commemorate Pakistan’s National Day.

The event marks the adoption of a resolution in 1940 by the Muslim minority in British India that led to the creation of Pakistan seven years later.

Four doctors, including one missing since Sep 20, were among the nine suspects.

Pakistan is battling an intensified militancy stemming from military operations and US airstrikes in the restive tribal region, a known hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants, who occasionally mount deadly attacks on international forces in Afghanistan.

A renewed wave of militant attacks, mostly suicide bombings, have killed more than 1,500 people across the country since mid-2007.

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