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November 28, 2008 13:01 IST

The arrest of three Pakistani nationals hailing from Multan in connection with Mumbai siege has once again revealed the role of Lashkar-e-Tayiba in terror strikes in India after the Akshardham attack in 2002.

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Police and central security personnel have arrested at least three Pakistanis, including Ajmal Amir Kamal, a resident of Faridkot near Multan in Pakistan's Punjab province. All the three belong to the suicide squad of Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

The terrorists told interrogators that 12 of them had left in a merchant vessel from the port city of Karachi, which was on its way to Vietnam, from which they got down and rowed 10 nautical miles into Indian waters up to Gateway of India.

The dozen people split into at least five groups that created havoc in five star hotels -- Taj and Trident (Oberoi). The terrorists were carrying dry fruits, suggesting they were prepared for a long-drawn battle.

The sources said the group was joined by some of the local contacts who provided them logistics like bags and dry fruits, the sources said, adding initial reports suggested that the terror group had come to the metropolis in the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

However, new leads suggested that they had entered the Indian waters on early Wednesday morning, the sources said.

This major strike from the banned Lashkar comes six years after it had carried out an audacious attack on Akshardham temple [Images] in Ahmedabad [Images] in which 25 were killed on September 25, 2002.

Elite National Security Guards had to be airdropped into the complex to rescue 50 people.

The Lashkar-e-Tayiba had a mixed luck with attack on RSS headquarters in Nagpur and attack on Group Regimental Centre of the Central Reserve Police Force at Rampur (Uttar Pradesh [Images]) in 2007.

After being banned by the US for spreading terror in the world and being linked with Al-Qaeda [Images], Lashkar had mainly used its Indian contacts, which included Indian Mujahideeen, to indulge in terror network.

However, this time in Mumbai, the terror group decided to carry out the attack itself as they wanted to strike in a big way, the sources said.

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