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Pakistan Restricts Leader of Group Accused in Mumbai Terror Attack


Pakistani police are restricting the movements of an Islamist militant group leader accused by India of masterminding last year's Mumbai attack.

Police said Monday they stopped Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, as he was leaving his home for Eid al-Fitr celebrations marking the end of a month-long fast for Muslims. Police said authorities gave verbal orders to keep Saeed in his house.

On Saturday, Pakistan acknowledged for the first time that the militant Islamic leader is under investigation in connection with last year's Mumbai terrorist attacks.

India accuses the hardline Pakistani cleric and his outlawed group of masterminding last November's carnage that left 166 people dead.

This confinement is the second time authorities have restricted Saeed's movements. Saeed was placed under house arrest in December after a U.N. committee put him on a list of people accused of supporting al-Qaida.

A Pakistani court released him in June because of insufficient evidence.

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Sunday that Pakistan has concluded its own investigation into the Mumbai attacks using what he described as "sketchy" information provided by India. Malik said the evidence and other relevant material have been presented to the court, which will indict seven other suspects later this week.

He said Saeed will be arrested only if authorities can provide solid evidence against him.

India has been pressing Pakistan to prosecute or hand over militants accused of planning the Mumbai attacks, before the two rival nuclear powers resume peace talks.

The foreign ministers of the two countries are expected to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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