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India: 6 men plotting terror attacks arrested, police say

Indian authorities say they have uncovered a "Pakistan-backed" terror plot that aimed to target large congregations across major cities. Two of the suspects, they said, were trained in in Pakistan.

Police keep vigil at an empty street in New Delhi on April 6, 2021, as the Indian capital imposed a night curfew a day after the nation posted a record coronavirus surge, with financial hub Mumbai also introducing similar restrictions

Delhi Police Special Cell said they recovered a cache of weapons and explosives, including IEDs, during the operation

Indian police on Tuesday evening said they have arrested six men alleged to be plotting terror attacks across major cities of the country.

The attacks were allegedly being planned from Pakistan and were "meant to target congregations during the upcoming festive season," said Neeraj Thakur of the Delhi Police Special Cell, the arm responsible for investigating terrorism and organized crime-related cases.

The Hindu festival of Durga Puja takes place in roughly a month's time, with the year's biggest festival Diwali celebrated on November 4. 

The two of the suspects arrested were believed to have gone to Pakistan via Oman where they received training in using explosives and firearms, he told reporters at a press conference.

"In Pakistan, they were kept at a farmhouse for 15 days during which they were trained in firearms," Thakur later told Indian broadcaster NDTV.

The arrests were made during a morning raid in a multi-state operation, he said.

Two men were arrested in the capital New Delhi, three were held in neighboring Uttar Pradesh state, and one was caught in the northern state of Rajasthan.

Police also said they recovered a cache of weapons and explosives, including IEDs, during the operation.

Authorities also said that the brother of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Anees, was responsible for coordinating the attacks.

This included recruiting, finance, transport, and other logistical aspects using his contacts, the Times of India newspaper reported.

Ibrahim, a designated global terrorist by India and the US, was thought to be living in Pakistan, a claim that Pakistani authorities have denied.

Indian authorities have long accused Pakistan of aiding and abetting terror activities within its borders. Islamabad has repeatedly rejected these allegations.

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