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 Wednesday, 15 January, 2003, 17:12 GMT
Karachi bomb suspect held
Pakistani police with covered suspect Asif Zaheer
Another suspect is already in custody
Pakistani police have arrested a second suspect in a suicide car bombing which killed 14 people, 11 of them French.

He was the one who accompanied the suicide bomber on the day of the bombing

Farooq Aqwan
anti-terrorist police
Police say the accused, Mohammad (alias Rizwan) Bashir, has confessed to a role in the attack in Karachi last May.

They say he drove in the vehicle used in the bombing, but got out shortly before the Sheraton Hotel outside which it blew up.

Police are holding another man who they say planted the explosives.

Asif Zaheer was arrested in December. Police say he gave them Mohammad Bashir's name.

'Big success'

Man helped from Sheraton bomb attack
The Sheraton attack killed 11 French engineers
Bashir is said to have links with Harkat-ul Mujahideen, an outlawed militant group active in Afghanistan during and after the Soviet invasion.

Farooq Awan, a superintendent of Pakistan's anti-terrorist police, told Reuters he had surrendered without any resistence.

"Rizwan Basheer was the one who purchased the car used in the attack," he said.

"He was the one who accompanied the suicide bomber on the day of the bombing. His arrest is a big success."

'Mistake'

Police are due to formally charge Zaheer in an anti-terrorism court next week.

Three Pakistanis, including the unidentified suicide bomber, were also killed when an explosives-laden Volkswagen Beetle rammed into a bus that regularly picked up French engineers outside the Sheraton hotel.

The Frenchmen who died were naval technicians working with Pakistani colleagues in building a French-designed submarine for the Pakistani navy.

Zaheer is alleged to have told interrogators that he and his partners mistakenly thought the bus was full of Americans.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

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