Pakistan arrests suspected Mumbai plotter

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi speaks during a rally Reuters – Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi speaks during a rally in this picture taken April 21, 2008. Lakhvi, one of the suspected planners of last month’s attack by gunmen on Mumbai, was arrested by Pakistani security forces in a raid on a militant camp, several sources in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, said December 8, 2008. Picture taken April 21, 2008. REUTERS/Abu Arqam Naqash (PAKISTAN)

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistani security forces arrested an alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks during a raid on a militant camp, a move likely to please India and the United States, two officials said Monday.

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was among at least 12 people detained Sunday after the attack on the camp run by the banned group Laskhar-e-Taiba in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, the officials said. The officials — one from the intelligence agencies and one from a government agency — spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Troops backed by a helicopter overran the camp close to the town of Muzaffarabad, briefly exchanging fire with militants there, a senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his job.

He said more than 12 detainees were being questioned over any possible links to the Mumbai attacks, which left 171 people dead in India’s commercial capital.

It was not immediately clear what Pakistan intended to do with Lakhvi.

Pakistan and India do not have an extradition treaty. Last week, President Asif Ali Zardari indicated any one arrested in Pakistan in connection with the attacks would be tried in Pakistan.

Indian officials say the sole Mumbai attacker captured alive has told them that Lakhvi recruited him for the mission and that Lakhvi and another militant, Yusuf Muzammil, were its masterminds.

U.S. officials allege Lakhvi has directed Laskhar-e-Taiba operations in Chechnya, Bosnia and Southeast Asia, training members to carry out suicide bombings and attack populated areas. In 2004, he allegedly sent operatives and funds to attack U.S. forces in Iraq.

Source : and Associated Press


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