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Pakistani counter-insurgency officer held over Mumbai attacks

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12/07/2008 02:05 AM
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Pakistani counter-insurgency officer held over Mumbai attacks
7:57pm UK, Saturday December 06, 2008
A man arrested in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks is a counter-insurgency police officer, authorities say.

Mumbai attacks: Arrested man Tauseef Rahman

One of the arrested men in connection with the Mumbai attacks: Tausif Rehman

Two men were taken in by police for illegally buying mobile phone cards that were used by the gunmen in the recent hotel atrocities.

A senior police official has now told the AP news agency that one of the pair is a counter-insurgency officer who may have been on an undercover mission.

He named the officer as Mukhtar Ahmed.

Ahmed is thought to be part of a counter-insurgency network whose members are usually drawn from former militants.

An Indian soldier aims his weapon towards The Taj Mahal Hotel

The attacks left 171 people dead

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police have been told he is "our man" and "it's now up to them how to facilitate his release".

The other arrested man has been identified as Tausif Rehman.

According to police, Rehman allegedly bought SIM cards by providing fake documents, and later sold them to Ahmed.

The pair are being questioned by police in Calcutta.

At least 171 people were killed in the attacks last week in which gunmen struck two hotels and other landmarks in India's financial capital.

The Indian government has blamed the attacks on Islamic militants from neighbouring Pakistan, raising tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries.

Pakistan has condemned the attacks and vowed to cooperate in investigations but has called for evidence from New Delhi about any Pakistani involvement.

Gunman at Mumbai's CST railway station

The suspected terrorist Kasab

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the lone gunman to survive the attacks was a petty street thug who turned into a highly trained suicide guerrilla.

Ajmal Amir Kasab, 21, was one of 10 men allegedly involved in the assault.

Under interrogation, Kasab said he was one of five children of a poor street food vendor in the Pakistani town of Farid Kot.

He operated as a low-level thief as a teenager, robbing people at knifepoint, but he dreamed of starting his own gang.

After he was put in touch with a man who offered to send him for weapons training, he spent 18 months in jihadist camps.

The information of Kasab's interrogation was revealed to the media by Rakesh Maria, the chief police investigator on the case.

[link to news.sky.com]