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Pak police arrest 'scores' of militants

The detainees, suspected of being members of outlawed domestic militant groups, were picked up in raids.
AP | By HT Correspondent, Lahore
UPDATED ON MAR 13, 2008 10:40 PM IST

Pakistani police have detained "scores" of militants after two suicide attacks killed 27 people this week in the eastern city of Lahore, officials said on Thursday.

The detainees, who are suspected of being members of outlawed domestic militant groups, were picked up in raids on Tuesday and Wednesday across Punjab province, police said.

None of those arrested were believed directly involved in Tuesday's attack in Lahore, where suicide bomber struck Federal police building and a home.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Lahore attacks, but the city's chief of police operations Tariq Khokhar, said officers were following several leads and hoped they would soon capture those responsible.

"We are picking up members of the banned groups. It is an ongoing process," he said.

Khokhar would say only that "scores" of suspects were in police custody. But other government and police officials said that so far, 90 people have been detained.

The officials, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of their jobs, provided no further details.

"We are questioning them in an attempt to find leads for the bombings in Lahore and to prevent any more such tragic incidents," Khokhar said, without providing any further details.

Azhar Hassan Nadeem, the provincial police chief, also confirmed the arrests, saying officers had detained an unspecified number of suspects.

"These raids and arrests are part of the investigation" into the Lahore attacks, Nadeem said.

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