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Police arrest 10 in July bombings in India

  • Story Highlights
  • Ten members of banned Islamic group arrested, CNN-IBN reports
  • Nearly 50 killed, 100 hurt in bombings in Ahmedabad, India
  • "Brains behind the blasts" among those arrested, police official says
  • Group not among those initially suspected in explosions
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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Ten members of a banned Islamic group were arrested Saturday in connection with a series of bombings last month in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, police said, according to CNN sister network CNN-IBN.

Seventeen small blasts went off in a span of 70 minutes in Ahmedabad on July 26, killing 49 people and wounding more than 100. Two Islamic militant groups claimed responsibility for the attack.

But P.C. Pandey, director of the general police for Gujarat state, told reporters Saturday that the Students' Islamic Movement of India carried out the attacks, CNN-IBN reported.

Nine members of the group as well as suspected ringleader Mufti Abu Bashir were arrested, Pandey said. Bashir was arrested in Lucknow, India, on Saturday morning.

"Bashir is the brains behind the blasts," Pandey said, as reported by CNN-IBN. "He is being brought to Gujarat soon. We are confident that after interrogating him we will get more information related to the blasts."

The investigation spread over several Indian states, he said. Authorities hope the arrests may lead to information about other blasts, including those in Jaipur, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh, Pandey said, according to CNN-IBN.

All 10 suspects face charges, including murder and waging war against the state, he said.

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"We have uncovered this network, and it will help in solving the cases of other offensives across the country," he said, according to CNN-IBN. "We have some hints ... but the media needs to bear with us."

The Students' Islamic Movement of India was not one of the groups initially thought to be responsible for the Ahmedabad blasts. Media outlets, including CNN-IBN, as well as the country's Intelligence Bureau received an e-mail shortly before the bombings, purportedly from the Muslim militant group Indian Mujahedeen, warning of a possible attack.

But afterward, the Islamic militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami -- or the Movement of the Islamic Holy War -- claimed responsibility for the bombings, CNN-IBN reported.

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