Pakistani Islamic Leader Placed Under House Arrest

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Police raided the home of a top militant-linked religious leader before dawn Thursday and placed him under house arrest for a month, authorities said.

Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the leader of the Jamaat al-Dawat group, wanted to lead a rally at a public park in Lahore on Saturday to mark Pakistan's independence from British rule on Aug. 14, 1947.

Police chief Khawaja Khalid Farooq said Saeed was put under house arrest because of "security reasons," but he would not elaborate.

Saeed's spokesman, Yahya Mujahid, condemned the detention and said the group would seek his release.

Saeed headed the militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba until 2002 when it was banned by Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf after neighboring India accused the group of orchestrating an attack on the Indian Parliament.

Indian authorities also have said they believe Lashkar-e-Tayyaba was behind the July 11 commuter train bombings in Bombay that killed more than 200 people.

After the group was banned in 2002, Saeed set up Jamaat al-Dawat, which runs schools, colleges and medical clinics. In April, Washington put the group on a list of terrorist organizations for its alleged links with militants fighting in the Indian part of Kashmir.

Kashmir is claimed by both Pakistan and India, and an insurgency there has killed more than 67,000 people since 1989.