Pakistan police 'foil hotel attack'

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Pakistani authorities have arrested six suspected Taliban fighters who were allegedly plotting to attack a five-star hotel and kill Americans.

Zulfikar Hameed, a senior police official, said the fighters who were arrested on Monday on the outskirts of Lahore included a 14-year-old boy and a prayer leader from Pakistan's Khyber tribal area near the Afghan border.

"We think they were on their way to launch the attack," said Hameed.

"They told us that Americans are responsible for the death of every innocent Muslim in the so-called war on terror."

Police seized 26 hand grenades and five detonators from the fighters, who were traveling by car and motorcycle, said Hameed.

Police said the six were trained in Pakistan's northwest tribal district of Khyber and were captured following a tip-off.

Hameed said that despite their intentions, the men did not know for certain whether any Americans were staying at the hotel.


Meanwhile, fighters attacked a vehicle carrying a former Pakistani government minister just outside the capital Islamabad on Monday, killing at least three of his aides shortly after he gave a campaign speech for a vacant parliamentary seat.

Atlaf Ahmad, a police official, said the attack against Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, the former minister of information, occurred in the town of Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

The former minister hurt his leg as he fell out of the vehicle, said Javed Qureshi, Ahmad's spokesman.

Ahmad served as information minister under Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, but lost his seat in an election held in early 2008.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/02/20102952139732106.html
 

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