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Tuesday, 4 February, 2003, 16:30 GMT
Militants held at Lahore airport
Pakistani security staff arrest a suspect
Pakistani security forces have detained many suspects

Pakistani security agencies have arrested two suspected militants at Lahore airport as they were about to fly out of the country.

The arrests were carried out amid high drama after the two suspected militants had boarded a flight bound for the Gulf.

Mohammed Abrar and Mohammed Altaf are said to be Pakistani citizens.

They were taken into custody after being offloaded from a Qatar Airways plane, but the authorities have refused to give more details.

Several security officials stepped inside the aircraft and took the two men into custody.

Eyewitnesses say after the arrests the two men were blindfolded and driven away from a side entrance to the airport.

'Al-Qaeda links'

It is not clear if these arrests are linked to the campaign against remnants of al-Qaeda and their Pakistani supporters.

Anti-US protest in Pakistan
Anti-US sentiment runs high in parts of Pakistan
A senior police official in Lahore said the two arrested men were in the custody of a Pakistani intelligence agency but would say no more.

In recent weeks Pakistani authorities have arrested several Arab and Pakistani militants from different parts of the country on suspicion of having links with al-Qaeda.

The most significant of these arrests was made from Lahore last month when a doctor and several members of his family were taken into custody.

The authorities say the Lahore-based doctor has close links with some senior al-Qaeda members and he is expected to be tried under Pakistan's anti-terrorism laws.


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03 Feb 03 | South Asia
25 Jan 03 | South Asia
24 Jan 03 | South Asia
04 Jan 03 | South Asia
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