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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Hizbul Mujahideen members detained
Pictures from Indian security agencies of training
Militants groups like Hizbul Mujahideen train in Pakistan
By the BBC's Sanjeev Srivastava

Police in the western Indian state of Maharashtra say they have arrested four alleged militants of the Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen group.

The arrests were made in Thane, a neighbouring district of India's financial capital Bombay, late on Tuesday night.

According to the police, the militants had planned to kill some well-known public figures in Bombay.

The Thane police commissioner said one of the arrested militants, Farooq Sami, is also wanted by police in connection with several terrorist acts and murders in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The three others are Mohammad Akbar Bhat, Farooq Ahmed Siddiqui Bhat and Altaf Bhat.

Arms from abroad

Police say they have recovered two foreign-made pistols and some live ammunition from the possession of the alleged militants.

Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin
Syed Salahuddin leads the Hizbul Mujahideen
According to the police, the four Hizbul members were awaiting a large consignment of sophisticated arms and explosives from across the border.

A Bombay city tourist guidebook and a walkie talkie set have also been recovered from the group.

This is the third instance in the last year of alleged militants being arrested by the Thane police.

In November last year, police arrested four militants thought to be members of Lashkar-e-Toyeba.

This year in August, police gunned down two suspected members of the Lashkar group in an encounter in Thane.

See also:

23 Oct 01 | South Asia
Militants claim Kashmir attack
24 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Kashmir threat to coalition
28 Nov 00 | South Asia
Doubts surround Kashmir ceasefire
26 Jul 00 | South Asia
Analysis: Kashmiri militants' dilemma
Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


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