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Central & South Asia
Indian court demands Mumbai arrests
Warrants issued for arrest of 22 Pakistanis suspected of planning Mumbai attacks.
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2009 03:25 GMT

The three-day siege in Mumbai targetted two major hotels and left more than 160 dead [EPA]

A court in India has ordered the arrests of 22 Pakistani nationals accused of planning last year's deadly attacks in Mumbai.

Prosecutors say that among those wanted is Hafiz Mohammed Saeed - the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani-based group that India blames for plotting and carrying out the attacks.

Also named by Indian prosecutors are two other Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah.

The Indian's court's issuance of arrest warrants had been expected, since New Delhi has long viewed the 22 suspects as terrorists.

The court also asked Pakistani authorities to extradite the suspects, but Pakistan has ruled out transferring any Mumbai suspects to India, saying it will try them in its own courts.

The warrants were issued in response to a prosecutors' motion in the ongoing trial of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab.

Prosecutors say Kasab is the only surviving gunman from last November's attacks that left 166 people dead.

'No evidence'

A Pakistani court freed Hafiz Mohammed Saeed earlier this month [AFP]
Pakistan had arrested the three leaders in December after Indian diplomats provided a dossier of evidence in a rare sharing of intelligence between the nuclear-armed rivals.

However, earlier this month, a court in the eastern city of Lahore freed Saeed, saying there was no evidence against him.

New Delhi says the 10 gunmen involved in the Mumbai attacks were Pakistanis and that their handlers in Pakistan kept in touch with them by phone during the three-day assault on 10 sites across the city including two five-star hotels and a Jewish centre.

Indian officials have also accused Pakistani intelligence agents of involvement in the attacks — a charge denied by Islamabad, although it has acknowledged that the Mumbai attacks were partly plotted on Pakistani soil.

Source:
Agencies
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