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11 arrested militants have no link with missing MH370: Police

PTI | Last Updated: Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 16:34

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian police on Sunday dismissed a report that they were interrogating the 11 alleged militants arrested recently in connection with the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370.

"That`s rubbish! This has nothing to do with the plane," Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said while reacting to a report in the British media.

The militant group, which was targeted last week by Malaysian anti-terrorism unit, is believed to have networks in Syria and southern Philippines, and was planning to send Malaysian fighters to Damascus, Malaysia Star newspaper said.

The Daily Mirror had reported yesterday that the 11 arrested alleged militants had links to the al-Qaeda, and were being questioned over the disappearance of Flight MH370 on March 8.

It said the suspects, including students, odd-job workers, a widow and business professionals, were members of a new terror group that were planning bomb attacks in Muslim countries.

The report said that investigators, including the FBI and MI6, had asked for the alleged militants, to be interrogated.

It was reported that in the interviews conducted so far, some suspects had admitted planning "sustained terror campaigns" in Malaysia, but denied being involved in the disappearance of the airliner.

Authorities here believe the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people onboard, including five Indians, was deliberately diverted by someone on board and that satellite data indicates it crashed in the Indian Ocean, west of the Australian city of Perth.

The Malaysian government has so far been tight-lipped about its investigation into the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200 jet, adding to the anger and frustration among relatives of the passengers.

Meanwhile, Khalid has said the police has no plan to reveal the findings of their probe on the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at this moment.

Khalid said this included the investigations on possible hijack, sabotage, psychological aspect and personal problems faced by passengers and crew of the ill-fated flight.

"As the investigations are still ongoing, we will not reveal the findings at any time now," he told reporters.

Khalid said the police had recorded 311 statements concerning the tragedy, including from the victims` family members.

The mystery of the missing plane continues to baffle aviation and security authorities who have so far not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets in the Indian Ocean.

First Published: Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 16:34

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