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'LeT may target upcoming CWG'

world Updated: Jul 25, 2010 09:50 IST
Indian army

Indian army leadership has voiced fears to Washington that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) may attempt to strike at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, according to a media report.

The fears were conveyed to Admiral Mike Mullen, the top US military commander, during his meetings in New Delhi, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

It also claimed that LeT, the terror group behind the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, has joined forces with the Taliban in a new alliance to kill western soldiers in Afghanistan.

In the past few weeks NATO commanders are convinced that LeT are behind a string of attacks and influx of fighters into eastern Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

The issue was raised on Saturday by Admiral Mullen after he arrived in Islamabad for meetings with Pakistan's powerful army chief General Ashfaq Kayani, the report said.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, which means Army of the righteous, was originally created by Pakistani security services to send militants to Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

Outlawed under US pressure in 2002, the group has continued to operate under different names. The LeT's camps have long been used by al-Qaeda for training.

After initial denials, Pakistan has admitted that LeT played a part in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in which 173 people were killed.

American officials are concerned that LeT has expanded its focus to Afghanistan and now has a more global agenda.

"Since 2008 I've watched them grow... to a terrorist organisation with global aspirations," Mullen said.

"It's an organisation which is becoming more lethal, it's in Afghanistan and it's in other countries."

While the Pakistani military has taken action against terrorist groups such as the Pakistani Taliban, it has refused repeated requests from Washington to move against the Afghan Taliban or LeT, the report said.

The LeT enjoys widespread support in Pakistan through its charitable arm, which was highly visible after the Pakistan earthquake in 2005 and is now helping to rebuild the Swat valley after a Pakistani offensive against the Taliban.

Well funded by backers in the Gulf, the banned militant group has about 2,000 offices across Pakistan, the report added.

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