India police arrest 6 in connection with blasts

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2011 10:07 AM
India police arrest 6 in connection with blasts

Indian authorities said Wednesday they had broken up a terror cell responsible for a series of bombings, including a deadly blast at a southern cafe popular with foreigners.

The arrest of the six men, one of whom was Pakistani, was the first reported breakthrough by Indian authorities trying to solve a string of recent terror attacks.

The accused were part of a cell of the shadowy domestic terror group known as the Indian Mujahideen, and they were found with two rifles, a pistol, nearly 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of explosives, detonators and fake Indian currency notes, according to a statement from the New Delhi police.

The cell was responsible for the Feb. 13, 2010, blast that killed 17 people at a cafe in Pune, a bombing at a Bangalore cricket stadium and the shooting and bombing attack outside a famous New Delhi mosque that injured two foreigners.

The cell collapsed in a series of police raids across India last week, after the arrest of one member led authorities to the others, police said.

All those arrested were "subjected to intensive interrogation," the statement said.

The government has come under strong criticism for failing to stop terror attacks and arrest the masterminds behind the Sept. 7 blast outside Delhi's High Court, which killed 13, and the July 13 triple bombing in Mumbai that killed 26.

Those arrested included Mohamed Adil, who police identified as a Pakistani sent to India on the instructions of Riaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, who are top leaders in the Indian Mujahedeen the Indian government says are living in Pakistan.

Indian police believed they had eliminated the group after a series of raids in 2008, but the recent attacks made it clear the Indian Mujahedeen had re-emerged.

Diplomats and Indian intelligence officials say the group arose out of Muslim Indian's anger at Hindu extremists' 1992 destruction of the 16th century Babri Mosque and the 2002 spasm of communal violence in the western state of Gujarat that killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslim. Indian officials accuse the group of ties to Pakistani militants.