Delhi Police Claim to Thwart Another Terror Attack



Police in India's capital say two men they have arrested appear to have been planning a terror strike within days. Authorities contend the duo received training in militant camps in Pakistan.

Police say they recovered a pair of AK-47 rifles, two grenades, ammunition, false passports and other counterfeit identification from two men suspected of belonging to the group Hizbul Mujahideen.

Authorities say an intelligence tip related to a possible terror strike in the capital ahead of Independence Day ceremonies August 15 led to the arrests Thursday night in the parking lot of a shopping district in the old part of the city.

Delhi Police special cell joint commissioner P.N. Aggarwal tells reporters the suspects are from Kupwara, a district under Indian control in divided Kashmir, and are being interrogated.

The police official says the suspects, Javed Ahmed and Ashiq Ali, were recruited on the Indian side of the border where they lived. Aggarwal adds the two men initially were instructed in the jungles of Kashmir, and, in August 2003, crossed the line of control into Pakistan, where they received weapons training in a camp in Muzaffarabad.

Police in India announce such arrests from time to time, but convictions of such suspects are less frequent.

Hizbul Mujahideen was formed in the Kashmir valley 20 years ago to fight for the integration of the entire region into Pakistan. Kashmir has been a divided and disputed territory since India and Pakistan gained independence from the British in 1947.

India has blamed Pakistan for repeated attacks on its soil. The two countries have fought several wars since independence.

The latest arrests come as a trial continues for the lone surviving suspect in last November's terror attacks on India's commercial capital, Mumbai. In court on Friday, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab told the court he wanted to plead guilty to all charges. After a recess, he backtracked and withdrew the statement.

Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, on July 20 made a surprise confession in court to some of the charges, and tried to get the judge to stop the trial and announce a verdict.

The Mumbai attacks, blamed on 10 gunmen dispatched by the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, left more than 160 people dead. Kasab is on trial for murder and "waging war" against India.

Fears of an attack on the Indian capital timed to coincide with Independence Day, have led to hundreds of additional police and paramilitary forces patrolling New Delhi's streets.   

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