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India authorities arrest 2 suspects connected with courthouse bombings

[JURIST] Indian police Saturday arrested two men allegedly belonging to the Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jihad Al-Islami [SATP backgrounder] militant group who they say were "part of a close network that provided local support to the terrorists" responsible for bomb blasts at courthouses in Lucknow, Varanasi, and Faizabad late last month that killed 16 lawyers. The cities are all in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where lawyers decided earlier this year not to defend terrorist suspects. Indian authorities said after the bombings that they suspected militant groups trying to spark conflict between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority in the country.

Varanasi is one of Hinduism's holiest cities and Faizabad is near the site of the Babri Mosque bombing in 1992, which sparked widespread Hindu-Muslim riots. India [JURIST news archive] has been rocked by a series of terrorist bombings over the past two years. In August, a pair of explosions in the southern city of Hyderabad killed 43 and in July 2006, the Mumbai commuter train bombings [JURIST news archive] killed more than 200 people. AP has more.

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