Sunday, November 30, 2008

MINISTER 'QUITS' OVER MUMBAI ATTACKS!


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Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil has submitted his resignation taking "moral responsibility" for the Mumbai attacks that killed nearly 200 people.
The move comes amid growing pressure on the Indian government to explain why it was unable to prevent the strikes.
There is no word on whether Mr Patil's resignation has been accepted.
The three-day long siege has increased tensions with Pakistan after allegations the gunmen had Pakistani links. Islamabad denies involvement.
Mr Patil wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "owning moral responsibility" for the attacks, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder, in Delhi, says.
More resignations may follow, our correspondent adds.

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The move comes ahead of an all party meeting set for Sunday evening, which is poised to discuss new anti-terror measures in India - including new anti-terror laws, and the possible creation of new anti-terror agency.
Earlier, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari offered full co-operation with India and his government denied any involvement in the deadly attacks.
Indian troops killed the last of the gunmen at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel on Saturday.

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As few as 10 militants may have been involved in the assault which saw attacks in multiple locations including two hotels, a major railway station, a hospital and a Jewish centre.
While the vast majority of victims were Indians, at least 22 foreigners are known to have died, including victims from Israel, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, Singapore, Thailand and France. One Briton, Andreas Liveras, was also killed.
Some of the gunmen came ashore by rubber dinghy on the night the killing began, others are reported to have been in the city for months gathering information on their targets.
India's home ministry said the official toll in Mumbai was 183 killed, but earlier disaster authorities said at least 195 people had been killed and 295 wounded.
'9/11 for India'
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the strain in relations with India was serious but he hoped the crisis could be defused.
Speaking after an emergency cabinet meeting in the capital Islamabad, he told reporters.
"Let us not fool ourselves, it is a serious situation when the people in India feel this is 9/11 for India. I think as a responsible elected government, we cannot be oblivious of the seriousness of the situation."
He pledged that intelligence officials would fully co-operate with the Indian investigation but added that the country's intelligence chief would not travel to India as earlier reported, something he called a "miscommunication".
A senior security official said Pakistan had now received preliminary evidence from India, the BBC's Barbara Plett reports from Islamabad.
But he warned that if India started to mobilise troops, Pakistan would respond in kind, even if that meant pulling soldiers away from fighting Islamist militants on the Afghan border.
He said the next 48 hours would be crucial in determining to what level tensions would escalate.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said earlier he believed that a group based outside India was behind the killings and senior Indian politicians have said the only surviving gunman to be captured is from Pakistan.
A claim of responsibility for this week's attacks was made by a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen - a reference to a mainly Muslim region of India.
According to a statement leaked to Indian newspapers, the one alleged militant captured alive, named as Azam Amir Qasab, said the Mumbai militants had received training from an Islamist group once backed by Pakistani intelligence, Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Pakistan banned the group in 2002 at US insistence.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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