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26/11 suspect held on Zimbabwe-SA border

June 26, 2010 16:49 IST

A Pakistani national suspected to be linked to the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, was nabbed in Zimbabwe while attempting to enter South Africa, raising fears that terror groups could be trying to target the FIFA World Cup.

Imran Mohammad, 33, and compatriot Chaudhry Pevez Ahmed, 39, were intercepted at the Beitbridge Border Post between Zimbabwe and South Africa by alert immigration officers last Sunday after they were found to be travelling on fake passports. "Indications were that... Mohammad is wanted in Pakistan, as he was allegedly involved in the terror attacks that rocked Mumbai, India, in November 2008," the state-run Zimbabwean newspaper Herald reported. The paper reported that Mohammad and Ahmed flew from Saudi Arabia to Tanzania, where they fraudulently acquired Kenyan passports before connecting to Zimbabwe by road. The paper quoting a police spokesman said investigations were continuing.

Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the two were assisting police with investigation. "They are in Harare and in custody as investigations on the case continue," he was quoted as saying by news portal Zimdiaspora. Assistant regional immigration officer Evans Siziba added: "It's an issue that is before the police. Maybe when they are through we will be at liberty to comment." Police and Immigration officials did not comment on if an international arrest warrant had been issued against the arrested persons.

With the purpose of the duo's visit to the country unclear, the arrest raised concerns over the possibility of terror groups targeting the World Cup, but South African and Zimbabwean police assured visitors of all efforts to maintain security. The 2010 FIFA World Cup, which started on June 11 will end on July 11. Zimbabwe and South Africa are operating a joint command post at Beitbridge for the duration of the tournament.

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