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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

100 Taliban arrested in Pakistan province of Baluchistan

Quetta, 19 July (AKI/DAWN) - Pakistani police have arrested another 100 suspected Taliban fighters during raids in different areas of Quetta, the provincial capital of south-western province of Baluchistan on Tuesday. The raids are part of a campaign by the police against illegal immigrants and so far over 200 Afghans have been arrested from Quetta. Inspector General Police Chowdhry Mohammad Yaqub told the Pakistani daily Dawn that most of the arrested Afghans were Taliban or had links with them.

"We have booked them and will produce them before courts of law,” he said, adding that the suspects would be handed over to the Afghan government after completing legal formalities.

The police raided various areas on the basis of information provided by intelligence agencies about the presence of suspected Taliban, sources said, adding that similar campaigns would soon be launched in other areas, including Chaman, Loralai, Zhob, Dalbandin and Pishin. They said 109 suspected Taliban were rounded up on Tuesday from Quetta.

"They are Taliban fighters and not Afghan refugees," said Deputy Inspector General of police in Quetta Salman Syed said, adding that the arrested Afghans also included some Taliban leaders. He said the police had not arrested Afghan refugees or Afghan students of religious seminaries.
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