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February 11, 2002
0950 IST

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Two more held in Pearl kidnapping case

K J M Varma in Islamabad

Two more persons have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of US journalist Daniel Pearl but the alleged mastermind Sheikh Omar, said to be a leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group, still remained at large.

"The two were rounded up in the capital in recent days, bringing to around 16 the number of people arrested since Pearl went missing on January 23.

"They have been detained for verification of some reports," Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police Nasir Khan Durrani told reporters in Islamabad on Sunday.

"The arrests relate to some phone calls they made from a mobile telephone set," he said.

Police said that three persons - Adeel, Salman and Fahad who are considered to be key suspects, had identified Sheikh Omar Saeed, leader of JeM as the one who was responsible for kidnapping Pearl. All three were identified as activists of the Jaish in Karachi.

Of the three, Adeel was a serving official attached to the police intelligence department in the southern Sindh province. According to reports from Karachi, he went on a two year paid leave during which he became a sympathiser of the Jaish, one of the organisations banned by President Pervez Musharraf on January 12.

ALSO SEE:
Pearl Case: Karachi Cops Doubt Indian Link

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