Sunday, November 30, 2008

MUMBAI: Who is to Blame?

World mourns, India investigates, Pakistan denies
- Indian police investigating who was behind the massive militant assault on Mumbai interrogated Sunday the only gunman who survived, as Pakistan insisted it was not involved. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari urged India not to "over-react" after Indian and US officials suggested the militants, who killed nearly 200 people, could have been from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. The group, which is fighting against Indian control of Kashmir, was behind the deadly 2001 assault on the Indian parliament that pushed New Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of war. Indian media reported that the badly-injured gunman had identified all the attackers as Pakistan citizens and acknowledged that they were trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba. Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, who was caught on a CCTV camera wearing a T-shirt with the logo "Versace," was reportedly being interrogated in a safe-house in Mumbai. US counter-terrorism officials told AFP some evidence was emerging that Lashkar-e-Taiba could have been behind the Mumbai attacks , while Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee named "elements in Pakistan" as responsible. Lashkar-e-Taiba has denied any responsibility. Intelligence chiefs scrambled to explain why they had failed to prevent at least a dozen militants mounting the multiple attacks on the city on Wednesday evening. Security forces only regained control of Mumbai 60 hours later when they succeeded in killing the last three militants holed up with hostages inside the famous Taj Mahal hotel . The previous day, elite troops had stormed a Mumbai Jewish centre and killed two gunmen -- but also found eight dead Israeli hostages. Another luxury hotel that was attacked, the Oberoi/Trident, was cleared of militants late Friday, with scores of trapped guests rescued and dozens of bodies found. Officials said that 195 people had been killed and nearly 300 injured in the attacks, which began when the militants split into groups to strike multiple targets across the city, including the main railway station and a hospital. About 30 foreigners were killed including nine Israelis, five Americans, two French, two Australians and two Canadians. One militant group entered Mumbai by boat, while others had arrived a month ago to stockpile arms and explosives and infiltrate the targets before the attacks were launched. Survivors have given terrifying accounts of the carnage. Phillippe Meyer, who had been on a business trip to Mumbai, said he was stuck in one of the hotels targeted by militants. "We found ourselves shut away in our rooms for a very long time, about 40 hours. The information was very confusing," said Meyer, 53, as he returned to France. Television footage of the inside of the Taj hotel showed half-eaten meals left on tables as diners fled for their lives. The restaurant walls were pockmarked with bullet holes and the floor covered with a thick layer of glass. "I cannot believe what I have seen in the last 36 hours. I have seen dead bodies, blood everywhere and only heard gunshots," said Muneer Al Mahaj, an Iraqi national, after he was rescued. Witnesses said the attackers had specifically rounded up foreigners with US and British passports. The United States, Israel and Britain were among countries that offered expert assistance to help with the investigation. (AFP via MSN/ AP Photo via Yahoo)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

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