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Jaish under scanner for Musharraf attack

December 28, 2003 18:03 IST

Investigations into the assassination bid on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has reportedly revealed that one of the bombers involved either belonged to the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed or its breakaway group Khudam-ul-Islam.

At least 20 people have been detained for question into the Christmas Day attack, Pakistani daily The Nation reported. The paper also said the other bomber involved was believed to be a Chechen.

Other newspaper reports, however, said the local suicide bomber has been identified as Muhammad Jamil of Rawalkot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who had links with a little-known Pakistani militant group al-Jehad.

But The Nation said Jamil was a member of the Jaish, whose leader Maulana Masood Azhar was released by India a few years ago while swapping passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar in Afghanistan.

Jaish was banned last year and Azhar floated Khudam-ul-Islam, which was also proscribed recently by Musharraf.

However, there appeared to be a few details regarding the identity of the Chechen militant, who believed to have belonged to a Chechen group owing allegiance to al-Qaeda.

The Nation said the identification of the two suicide bombers, whose faces were found to be intact, has led to several arrests in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Rawalakot in PoK.

The clues found at the blast site, which included a chip of the cell phone carried by one of the attackers and the chassis and engine numbers of the two cars used in the incident, led police to detain a number of people, it said.

Based on the engine and chassis numbers, owner of one of the cars identified Jamil as the one who bought it a few days before the attack.

Other newspaper reports also said that Jamil, 31, son of Muhammad Sabil Khan, belonged to a religious party and his parents said he left home several years ago and visited them once in a while.

Pakistan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid on Saturday said a 'network' of local and foreign militants has been identified as the one responsible for the attack.

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