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Pakistani Police Arrest Key Militant Suspect - 2004-01-19

Pakistani police have arrested one of the country's most-wanted suspected militants. Authorities are also investigating whether the man took part in the bombing of a Bible study center last week.

Police in Karachi arrested Shamim Ahmed, a leader of the banned extremist group Lashkar-e Jhangvi, in a raid late Sunday night.

Explosives and hand grenades, along with chemicals used for bomb making, were found at the scene.

Police say Mr. Ahmed may have been behind last Thursday's bombing of a Christian Bible study center, which injured 11 people, including three policemen.

Mr. Ahmed's banned group is blamed for scores of acts of sectarian violence in Pakistan as well as the 2002 abduction and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.

The arrest happened only hours after Karachi police took seven foreigners into custody for alleged links to an international terrorist organization, which was identified in local reports as the al-Qaida terror network.