January 29, 2009 / 1:57 PM / 11 years ago

Pakistan police say three Indian agents arrested

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani police said on Thursday they had arrested three suspected Indian agents planning to attack prominent people and installations, including offices of a militant group blamed for November’s attacks in Mumbai.

The men, all Pakistani, were arrested on Thursday in a village close to the Indian border in eastern Pakistan.

“They had plans to destroy important buildings and to kill important personalities,” Pervez Rathore, police chief of the eastern city of Lahore, told reporters.

He said the men also planned to attack offices linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group as well as “important religious personalities.”

He did not elaborate.

India blamed the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group for the attacks in Mumbai in which 179 people were killed and said it must have had support from Pakistani security agencies.

Pakistan, which has a history of using militant groups to further foreign policy objectives, has denied any involvement in the attacks by state agencies and offered to cooperate in the investigation of the Mumbai violence.

Rathore said the men were trained in bomb-making in New Delhi by agents of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) security agency before being sent to Pakistan.

Tension has been running high between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India since the coordinated attacks in India’s financial hub, raising fear of conflict between the neighbors which have fought three wars since 1947.

Pakistan detained scores of people after the Mumbai attack, including the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, after U.N. Security Council added him and a group charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), to a list of personalities and organizations linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Pakistan has also arrested two suspected planners of the Mumbai attacks, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, and sealed scores of offices of JuD across the country.

India, however, has shown frustration over what it sees as Pakistan’s slow response to a dossier of information it handed to Pakistan and said linked the Mumbai attack to Pakistani militants.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told Reuters on Wednesday that Pakistan would release details of its investigation into the attack “very soon.”

Reporting by Mubasher Bokhari; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and Sanjeev Miglani

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