Sunday, January 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

350 extremists detained

Islamabad, January 12
Pakistan police today said it made over 350 preventive arrests of Islamic extremists in various parts of the country ahead of President Pervez Musharraf’s address to the nation.

According to officials here, over 200 persons, especially activists of two sectarian outfits — Sipha-e-Sehbha of Pakistan (SSP) and Tehrik-e-Jafria of Pakistan (TJP), were detained in different parts of the country.

The arrests were seen as a measure to avoid any flare-up to a possible ban on the groups, the police said.

The SSP, an extremist outfit of the majority Sunni sect, shared close ideological and organisational ties with Jaish-e-Mohammad, one of the militant organisations blamed by New Delhi for the attack on Indian Parliament, while the TJP is the militant outfit of the minority Shia sect.

Hundreds of Pakistanis are believed to have been killed in the recent years in the largescale sectarian violence allegedly fuelled by the two groups.

Reports from Karachi said the heavily armed police raided religious schools and mosques and several other southern cities overnight and early today, arresting over 150 extremists.

The Pakistan police has been cracking down on the pan-Islamic militant groups, including the Jaish and Lashkar-e-Toiba. PTI

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