P Chidambaram, India`s home minister
INDIA’S home minister said today that police had foiled a major attack by suspected militants from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group who were caught with explosives at a rail station.
Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters that two men were arrested at New Delhi’s main station after a tip-off from intelligence agencies and work by three state police agencies.
“They were planning to detonate a bomb or more than one bomb in a crowded locality,” he said, citing initial reports from the police investigation.
The pair are to be produced before a local court and detained for 10 days.
An unspecified number of other suspects had also been detained in connection with the alleged plot, Chidambaram said.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which means “The Army of the Pure” in Urdu, is one of the most powerful militant groups in Pakistan and is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead.
Chidambaram said it was “an important module” of the group that had been planning a “terrorist incident in Delhi”.
Neither he nor the police, who also reportedly said an attack had been imminent, would disclose when the men were detained.
The arrests, if followed by convictions, would be an intelligence coup for the Indian security forces which have been criticised for failing to prevent, or catch those responsible for, a string of blasts over the last few years.
New Delhi has been a frequent target for terror attacks.
In September, a bomb outside Delhi High Court killed 14 people, while in early February a bomb blast badly wounded an Israeli diplomat in the heart of the city near the prime minister’s residence.
A senior New Delhi police official, PN Agarwal, told reporters that security forces had recovered material for making bombs from the suspects.
“We have recovered items required for making an IED (improvised explosive device), passports and memory cards that show how to make a bomb and training in weapons handling,” Agarwal said.
“We are expecting one or two more arrests.”
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