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01 Jan 2002 00:00
Authorities in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal have arrested 16 illegal Bangladeshi immigrants suspected of having links to the al-Qaida terrorist network and Islamic militant groups operating in Indian-Kashmir, police said on Wednesday.
The arrests were made after a joint raid by the police and Indian border guards late on Tuesday in West Bengal’s northern Murshidabad district which borders Bangladesh, inspector general of police Chayan Mukherjee said.
Police superintendent Virendra, who led the raids in nine villages in Murshidabad said the arrested men had been charged with illegal entry into India.
“Intelligence reports said that they have links with Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence and Muslim militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and al-Qaida,” Virendra said.
“They are being interrogated.”
Ramesh Singh of India’s paramilitary Border Security Force added that troops guarding West Bengals border with Bangladesh were on maximum alert after intelligence reports warned of a possible terrorist attack on the state’s government offices between June 10and 15.
“Efforts are being made to strengthen the security measures in and around all vital government installations across the state,” West Bengal home secretary Amit Kiran Dev said. - Sapa-AFP
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