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Arrested Man Links Islamic Militant Groups to Deadly New Delhi Blasts


Indian authorities have arrested a man suspected of involvement in last month's deadly bombings in New Delhi, which killed more than 60 people and injured more than 200. Officials say the man has implicated Islamic rebel groups, which are active in Kashmir, in the bombings.

Indian army officials say the arrested man has confessed to planting one of the three bombs that exploded in New Delhi on October 29, just two days ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir state, was captured in the region by the military on Sunday. He has been handed over to the police.

It is the first breakthrough reported by the authorities in the blasts, which occurred within minutes of each other and led to a nationwide manhunt for the perpetrators.

Two of the bombs exploded in crowded markets, the third on a bus.

Officials, who did not want to be named, say the suspect told officials he was member of a group called Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, but had recently joined another, Lashkar-e-Taiba. Both are Pakistan-based Islamic militant groups that have waged an insurgency in Kashmir since 1989.

An obscure group called Islami Inquilabi Mahaz, or Islamic Revolutionary Group, quickly claimed responsibility for the attacks. But the authorities have said they suspect that group might be a front for more prominent militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba.

There is a growing rapprochement between Pakistan and India, and Pakistan denies any involvement in the separatist violence in Kashmir. But Independent political analyst Mahesh Rangarajan says the arrest will strengthen suspicions that the attack was indeed the work of Pakistan-based Islamic militant groups.

"The general impression appears to be that such groups continue to be active. These arrests will of course come as a shot in the arm for the police and security officials," he said.

The Hindu, a leading Indian newspaper, reported Wednesday that the arrested man said the bombings were the combined operation of several Islamic groups, including Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Following the blasts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on Islamabad to do more to fight terrorism. Pakistan condemned the blasts as "criminal act of terrorism" and rejected all links to them.