Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 5 News List

India's most wanted criminal detained by Pakistani agents

AFP , NEW DELHI

Pakistan has detained India's most-wanted fugitive, Dawood Ibrahim, the alleged mastermind of a series of deadly bomb blasts in Mumbai, a report said yesterday.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency took the elusive mafia chief and two trusted lieutenants into custody on Thursday, the Times of India said, citing Indian intelligence sources.

"Sources in Quetta confirmed the detention," one intelligence officer said in the report, referring to the capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

"Dawood and the others have ceased to be of much use to the Pakistani establishment," the unnamed senior intelligence officer said.

Dawood was being kept in a safe house on the outskirts of Quetta, said the report, which could not be independently confirmed.

The paper said that prodding by the US, which in 2003 branded Dawood a "global terrorist," had led to the move to apprehend him.

LIFE IN CRIME

The son of a police constable, Dawood has run an empire steeped in drug trafficking, extortion and ransom killings for more than two decades.

His gang is said to be deeply feared in Bollywood, India's Hindi film industry.

Many actors, directors and producers have been linked to Dawood.

He is the key accused in a string of blasts that rocked India's financial capital Mumbai in 1993, killing at least 300 people and wounding more than 1,000.

ON THE RUN

Dawood fled India in the early 1980s and is believed to have assumed many nationalities and used a variety of hideouts, including in Dubai and Karachi, Pakistan.

He is one of 20 people India wants Pakistan to hand over in the wake of a December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, which New Delhi said was carried out by Pakistani-backed Islamic militants.

Pakistan had previously often denied Dawood was hiding on its territory.

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