UP cycle blasts: Two Afghan nationals held

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Lucknow, Nov 26: Continuing efforts to nail terrorists involved in Friday's serial bomb blasts in three cities of the state, the Special Task Force of the UP police today picked up two Afghan nationals, including a woman, for questioning.

While police officials were tightlipped about the 'detentions', a source said Tabrez Zaidi and his wife Hyat were picked from Rajajipuram area here this evening for questioning. ''Neither any arrests have been made nor there had been a FIR...If someone has been detained by STF we are not aware,'' said a senior Lucknow police official.

The two had reportedly finalised a 'major land deal' recently which brought them under the STF scanner.

A total of 13 people were killed and more than 70 wounded in the serial blasts at the court premises in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad districts.

The city police had late last night took into custody one Faizi Ahmed, owner of Faizi Travels, a tour operating agency, for interrogation. Faizi is the elder brother of suspected Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) member Mohammad Tufail, whom the police suspect has a hand in the serial blasts.

The investigating team had sealed a computer among several other documents found from the agency situated in Aminabad locality.

''We are in the process of scanning the computer and documents found during the raid,'' a senior district police official said.

According to police sources, Tufail's name also figured in the Mumbai and Delhi serial blasts of 1993 and 2005 respectively and the CBI had also announced a cash reward for Tufail.

The raided travel agency was on suspect list during a recent terrorist act in Sitapur when a high-powered exploded during transportation.

Meanwhile, police were interrogating nine other people taken into custody from Azamgarh yesterday, in connection with an abandoned car, which was stolen from Lucknow.


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