350 detained for questioning over Bombay blasts

Indian police have detained about 350 people for questioning in connection with the Bombay train bombings, officials said Thursday amid suspicion that Kashmiri militants could be linked to the attacks that killed at least 200 people. Most of the detentions were made overnight in Malwani, a northeastern suburb of Bombay, said police Inspector S. Goshal. He said none of them has been formally arrested or charged, and they were rounded up only for questioning to help with the investigations into Tuesday's serial bombings. Bombay police Commissioner A.N. Roy confirmed a large number of arrests have been made but refused to give an exact figure. "There have been widespread search operations. A lot of people have been detained for questioning," he said. "This is all part of a large scale investigation, the search operation and combing operation," he told The Associated Press. He said those arrested include known thugs, gangsters and trouble makers, who might have information about the culprits. The arrests came a day after the police chief of Maharashtra state, of which Bombay is the capital, said investigators were looking into a possible link with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, one of the several Kashmiri militant groups fighting for independence from India for the Himalayan region. "It is difficult to say definitely at this stage, but Lashkar-e-Tayyaba can be involved going by the style of attack," said P.S. Pasricha, the director general of police for Maharashtra state.