2 more arrested in 13/7 Mumbai serial blast case

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) today arrested two alleged associates of top Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal in connection with the 2011 serial blasts in the metropolis.

ATS took custody of Sayyed Ismail Afaq Lanka (36) and Saddam Hussain Fairoz Khan (28) -- residents of Bhatkal in Karnataka -- from Bengaluru Police.

The duo is suspected to have provided explosive materials to Yasin to carry out blasts across the country, including the 2011 bombings here, it said.

Three powerful blasts ripped through crowded areas in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, killing at least 21 people and injuring 141 others.

According to ATS, Bengaluru Police had on January 8 arrested Lanka and Khan with explosives and booked them under Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA) and Explosives Substances Act.

"Our team went and questioned the two. During questioning it emerged Lanka and Khan had supplied explosives to Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Haddi, another accused in the case, too to execute the blasts in Mumbai," said an ATS officer.

The duo would be produced before a local court tomorrow.

With their arrest, total 12 people have been arrested in connection with the blasts. Those arrested earlier include Yasin, Naqi Ahmed and Nadeem Akhtar (both students), Mohammed Kafeel, a Bihar resident, Haroon Rasheed Naik, Waqqas, Tehseen Shaikh alias Monu, Haddi and Ejaz Shaikh.

Kanwarnain Pathreja, a Delhi-based hawala operator was also arrested in the case and later granted bail.

Those still wanted in the case are Riyaz Bhatkal, Wasim alias Ibrahim, Muzaffar Kola and his nephew Ubaid.

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