India sends top cops to Chile to verify arrest of Kandahar hijack conspirator

14:57, April 13, 2011      

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India has sent two senior police officers to Chile to verify the identity of an arrested Pakistani citizen suspected to be a key conspirator of the 1999 hijack of state carrier Indian Airlines aircraft IC814 which was finally freed in the Afghan city of Kandahar, local media reported Wednesday.

Chilean law enforcement agencies alerted Interpol about the arrest of the Pakistani citizen, who they suspect is Abdul Rauf, the brother-in-law of Maulana Masood Azhar, who was among the three terrorists released in exchange for the passengers of IC814 in Kandahar.

The two-member team, which left Tuesday, included an official of the Intelligence Bureau and another of the country's premier probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, The Indian Express newspaper reported.

The Indian Airlines aircraft was hijacked en route from Kathmandu to New Delhi on Dec. 24, 1999, by Pakistan-based militant group Harkat ul Mujahideen. After its hijacking in Indian airspace, the militants forced the aircraft to land in Kandahar.

India's lack of recognition of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan complicated negotiations between India and the hijackers. Taliban moved its armed fighters near the hijacked aircraft in an attempt to prevent Indian special forces from storming the plane. The hijacking lasted for a week and ended after India released three militants.

Source: Xinhua
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