Al-Qa'ida suspects held after fierce gun battles

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The Independent Online

Pakistani police arrested more than 30 Islamic militants, including alleged members of al-Qa'ida, in raids in two cities, officials said yesterday.

Pakistani police arrested more than 30 Islamic militants, including alleged members of al-Qa'ida, in raids in two cities, officials said yesterday.

One suspect was killed and a policeman wounded in a gun battle during one of the raids on Wednesday night in the city of Faisalabad, the Interior Ministry said. Four extremists were wounded in the shoot-out and taken to hospital under heavy police guard.

Other raids took place in Pakistan's second largest city, Lahore. Both cities are in the province of Punjab. Police in Punjab refused to specify the groups to which the suspects belonged but five extremist organisations outlawed in January by the President, General Pervez Musharraf, are thought to have cells in the province.

* Indian security forces shot dead a Muslim militant hiding in a Srinagar mosque in strife-torn Kashmir, ending a 20-hour siege and bringing the day's death toll in the disputed Himalayan regionto 15, the army said.

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