12/09/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN – INDIA
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One of the Mumbai attack planners arrested

President Zardari says his country has no links to terrorists, but is its victim instead. Today another blast hits the Swat Valley during Eid al-Adha celebrations.
Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar confirmed that Lashkar-e-Taiba operations chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, one of the planners of the Mumbai terrorist attack, were arrested. Lashkar-e-Taiba has been banned in Pakistan since 2001.

On Sunday Pakistani security forces raided a camp at Shawai on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, arresting several extremists, including Lakhvi.

The US government welcomed the news. India has not reacted yet.

Indian authorities have blamed Pakistan because the terrorists who killed at least 188 people in Mumbai came from that country, calling on Islamabad to act decisively and arrest their accomplices.

For their part Pakistani authorities have pledged maximum co-operation but have stated that anyone arrested would be tried in Pakistan.

“As was demonstrated in Sunday's raids, which resulted in the arrest of militants, Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory, treating them as criminals, terrorists and murderers,” Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said.

“Not only are the terrorists not linked to the government of Pakistan in any way, we are their targets and we continue to be their victims,” he added.

The Pakistani leader noted that nearly 2,000 Pakistanis have been killed in militant-related violence this year alone, including 1,400 civilians.

Echoing the president’s words today a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Buner district of the North-West Frontier Province as Eid al-Adha festivities were underway. Three children were wounded.

The Swat Valley, where hundreds of extremists have died in clashes with the army, is not far away.

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