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Pakistan arrests scores in fresh crackdown on armed groups

5 March 2019, 11:38:00

Pakistani authorities say they have detained 44 members of various armed groups, including relatives of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, the man at the centre of an ongoing crisis with neighbouring India.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday in Islamabad, Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan said those arrested would be held for at least 14 days, and if further evidence was found against them they would be prosecuted.

The detainees included Abdul Rauf, Azhar's brother, and Hammad Azhar, the JeM chief's son, Khan said.

Both names were among several suspects whose details were included by India in a recent dossier shared with Pakistan following an attack last month in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed 42 Indian security forces personnel and prompted a tense standoff between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

India blamed Pakistan for "controlling" the attack, and went on to carry out air raids on Pakistani territory. Pakistan retaliated by launching air raids of its own, shooting down an Indian fighter jet in the process.

The pilot of the jet was returned on Saturday, but tensions remain high – on Tuesday, Pakistan's navy said it successfully foiled an attempt by an Indian submarine to enter Pakistani waters.


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