9 Dec 2008

Pakistan arrests Mumbai plot suspect - reports

3:31 pm on 9 December 2008

Pakistani security forces have arrested a suspected planner of last month's militant attack on India's financial capital in Mumbai in a raid on a militant camp in Pakistani Kashmir, Reuters reports.

The Pakistani government has not revealed any details of Sunday's raid at the camp used by Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters in the hills outside the regional capital Muzaffarabad.

Intelligence officials, workers with a charity linked to Lashkar and people living nearby say Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a Lashkar operations chief named by India as a suspect, was taken into custody.

A former militant who now has close ties to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity said Lakhvi had been arrested.

All spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of talking about security matters.

Other Pakistani intelligence officers said at least six men were arrested. The military confirmed arrests had been made.

India and the United States have pressed Pakistan to act against militants suspected of being behind the Mumbai attack in which at least 170 people were killed.

Pakistan's military confirmed a crackdown had started on banned jihadi groups like Lashkar.

There were fears that tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan could rise unless Pakistan cooperated and a four-year-old peace process is already in jeopardy.

A Lashkar spokesman confirmed the jihadi group was targeted and denied the group was involved in the Mumbai attack.

The surviving gunman captured in Mumbai named Lakhvi and another Lashkar commander, Yusuf Muzammil, as ringleaders in the plot, according to Indian officials.