Pakistani cops seize 2,200 pounds of explosives

/ Source: The Associated Press

Pakistani authorities have arrested three suspected suicide bombers and seized more than 1 ton of explosives near the capital, officials said Friday.

Senior police officer Rao Mohammed Iqbal told The Associated Press that several suspects, including three suicide bombers, were arrested in the operation late Thursday in the garrison city of Rawalpindi — just days after a suicide car bombing against the Danish Embassy in Islamabad killed six people.

Authorities seized three vehicles with more than 2,200 pounds of explosives, Iqbal said, but provided no details on what the bombers allegedly wanted to target and whether the vehicles had been rigged to detonate.

Iqbal, the deputy inspector-general of Rawalpindi police, said an official statement on the arrests would be issued later Friday.

Pakistan's Geo TV news network quoted Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik as saying that a total of six people, including the three bombers, were captured.

‘Sensitive installations’
Two security officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media, said the arrested men were suspected of wanting to target "sensitive installations" and are being questioned by civil and military authorities in Rawalpindi.

None of the officials had information on the suspects' identities.

Rawalpindi houses the headquarters of Pakistan's army and the residence of President Pervez Musharraf, a longtime U.S. ally in its war against terrorism.

An Internet posting Thursday, purportedly from al-Qaida in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the bombing outside the Danish Embassy and threatened to "rain" more attacks on countries where cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad are published.

Monday's embassy attack was the deadliest strike against Denmark since the publication of cartoons' in newspapers there and in other Western countries sparked violent unrest across the Muslim world in early 2006. In February this year, Danish papers reprinted one drawing of Muhammad in a bomb-shaped turban.

Rawalpindi lies about seven miles from Islamabad.