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Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Karachi blast suspects held
Suspects appear in karachi court on Friday 20 Sept
Seven suspects were arrested earlier in the week
Police in Pakistan say they have arrested five more militants in connection with a suicide bomb attack on the US consulate in Karachi in June.

The five men, all members of an Islamic extremist group, were arrested in western Karachi. A large amount of weapons was also seized.

karachi consulate blast scene
Attack: One of a number targeting foreigners
Police believe the men were planning to help other members of their group escape from custody as they were taken to court.

A total of 21 members of the organisation, all Pakistanis, have been arrested since July.

Police say they were planning to assassinate President Musharraf in April and were also responsible for the suicide attack on the US consulate in Karachi in which 13 people died.

Splinter group

Investigations are continuing into whether they were behind a suicide bombing in May outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi, in which 14 people were killed, 11 of them French nationals.

The group is thought to be a splinter organisation of the extremist Harakat-ul Mujahedin, whose members have fought in Afghanistan with the Taleban and in Kashmir.

A week ago police announced they had arrested 12 foreign militants in Karachi, including a high-level member of al-Qaeda accused of involvement in planning the 11 September attacks.

However the authorities said they had found no link between al-Qaeda and the group accused of the consulate suicide bombing.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Susannah Price in Islamabad:
"A total of 21 members of the organisation have been arrested since July"
Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

20 Sep 02 | South Asia
19 Sep 02 | South Asia
16 Sep 02 | South Asia
14 Sep 02 | South Asia
14 Jun 02 | South Asia
08 May 02 | South Asia
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