2 suspected Islamic terrorists arrested in Indian courthouse blasts

Police arrested two suspected Islamic terrorists Saturday believed to have been involved in a series of explosions that ripped through courthouse complexes last month in three north Indian cities, killing at least 16 lawyers, police said. The men, who police suspect belong to the Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jihad Al-Islami group, were arrested before dawn at a railway station near Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, said Brij Lal, a senior state police official. "The arrested men, identified as Mohammed Khalid and Mohammed Tariq, are suspected to be involved in the serial blasts at courts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi last month," he said. Federal authorities have blamed militants trying to spark unrest between India's Hindu majority and Muslim minority for the Nov. 23 blasts. Lal said both men are Indian Muslims and "part of a close network that provided local support to the terrorists." However, he would not say if they were suspected of actually planting the bombs.