26/11 accused trained in LeT camps in Karachi: Pak officials

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Pakistani intelligence officials have informed an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks received training at Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) camps in Pakistan, including navigational training in Karachi.

According to a report in Dawn, five inspectors of the crime investigation department (CID), who are prosecution witnesses, recorded their statements before Judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman on Saturday giving the training details and capabilities of the accused including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind.

The officials were in charge of CID stations in Okara, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, Mandi Bahauddin and Sheikhupura. They said the accused were trained at the LeT training centres at Yousaf Goth in Karachi, Buttle in Mansehra, Mirpur Sakro in Thatta and Muzaffarabad.

The CID inspector from Okara said Lakhvi was LeT's "operational commander" who trained other militants, adding that Lakhvi is an expert in the use of firearms and improvised explosive devices. The inspectors informed the court that some of the accused also trained at sea near Yousaf Goth in Karachi's Gadap town.

The Federal Investigation Agency's special prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, told the court that the witnesses were responsible officials who had recorded their statements without any pressure. "It was their job to keep the militants of proscribed organisation under observation," he said.

Lakhvi's counsel Khwaja Mohammad Haris asked the prosecution witnesses whether they had witnessed the accused being trained at the LeT camps. The witnesses admitted that they had never visited the LeT camps, and had relied on the reports of informers.

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