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Police Arrest Three in Connection With Mumbai Train Bombings


Indian police have arrested three men in connection with the bomb blasts that ripped through commuter trains in the country's financial capital, Mumbai, earlier this month, killing nearly 200 people. These are the first suspects held in the case.

Police officials say two of the men were arrested in the eastern state of Bihar, and a third on the outskirts of Mumbai. A local court ordered the three, all Muslims, into police custody for ten days.

The arrests, on Thursday and Friday, are the first known breakthrough in the July 11 attacks. But the head of the anti-terrorist squad investigating the blasts, K.P. Raghuvanshi, indicated Friday that far more than these three men were involved.

Raghuvanshi says the bomb blasts were part of a larger conspiracy involving many players. He says the three men have links with others in Nepal and Bangladesh who, directly or indirectly, are linked to Pakistan.

The bombs exploded on seven commuter trains in Mumbai, also known as Bombay, killing nearly 200 people and wounding more than 800. Police have said they suspect the attacks were carried out by the Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

New Delhi has also reiterated accusations that Pakistan is not doing enough to stop the activities of anti-India militants based on its soil.

On Friday, India's foreign ministry asked Pakistan to arrest and hand over to India the head, Syed Salahuddin, of a powerful Islamic militant group active in Indian Kashmir, the Hizb-ul-Mujahidin.

Islamabad has denied that anyone is orchestrating attacks on India from Pakistani soil, and has offered to cooperate in the investigation into the Mumbai bombings.

But Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna cast doubt on the sincerity of that offer.

"President Musharaff's offer to help investigations in the Mumbai blasts if evidence is provided to him gives us no cause for satisfaction, in view of the fact that Pakistan has refused to cooperate in the past," said Sarna.

In a televised address on Thursday, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf urged India to continue with the peace process between the two countries. India put that process on hold last week by postponing scheduled peace talks.