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Terrorism & Security

Pakistan cracks down on Lashkar-e-Taiba

India insists the suspects be tried in India, rejecting a Pakistani trial.

By / January 16, 2009



Pakistan announced that it has arrested 71 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and detained 124 more in an effort to crack down on the Islamic militant group believed to be responsible for November's attacks on the Indian city of Mumba. India's foreign minister insisted that Pakistan must extradite the suspects for trial in India, backing down from his earlier statement that India might accept a trial in Pakistan.

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The Associated Press reports that the arrests come as part of Pakistan's investigation into the attacks, which left 164 people dead and heightened tensions between the neighboring nuclear powers. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947.

Pakistan insisted it would help India to bring those behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, saying Thursday it had shut down extremist Web sites and suspected militant training camps, and detained 71 people in a deepening probe.
Still, a top Pakistani official said authorities needed to further investigate information about the attacks provided by archrival India before it could be used to prosecute suspects in court.
Days after the November attacks, the U.N. Security Council declared that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity in Pakistan, was merely a front for the outlawed militant organization.

Pakistan announced that Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and its "operations commander" Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi were among those detained by Islamabad, according to English-language newspaper Dawn in Pakistan.

"We have arrested a total of 124 mid-level and top leaders of JuD in response to a UN resolution — 69 from Punjab, 21 from Sindh, eight from Balochistan and 25 from the NWFP — blocked six websites associated with the organisation and closed down its five relief camps," the adviser said. He said 20 offices, 87 schools, two libraries, seven seminaries and a handful of other organisations and websites linked to Jamaatud Dawa had also been shut.

Dawn adds that although Mr. Malik did not comment on legal action against any of those arrested or detained, sources told the paper that Pakistan is considering bringing at least three of Lashkar-e-Taiba's leaders to trial.

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