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Pakistan arrests 2 French nationals
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 01:29:58 GMT
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Policemen stand at the scene of a bomb blast in Dir, northwest Pakistan April 4, 2011.
Pakistani authorities have announced the arrests of two French nationals suspected of being part of an international terrorist organization.

Both Frenchmen are suspected members of the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah, AFP reported.

They were detained in the eastern city of Lahore two months ago. Pakistani officials suspect that the two men were planning to travel to the North Waziristan region to meet with al-Qaeda operatives.

France has asked Pakistani authorities for permission to visit the two detainees.

Jemaah Islamiyah is allegedly headed by Indonesian Umar Patek, who was also recently arrested in Pakistan. The terrorist group is responsible for the Bali bombings in 2002 which left more than 200 people dead.

Last month, a terrorist attack in the town of Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province left 13 people dead and forty-two others wounded.

Northwestern Pakistan has been the scene of recent bombing attacks by al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants, as government troops continue to fight militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Islamabad has said that more than 90,000 Pakistani troops have been deployed in the tribal regions since early 2002 in order to hunt al-Qaeda and Taliban militants fleeing Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

It says that more than 700 soldiers and 1,000 militants have been killed in clashes since 2004.


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