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Grieving India Hunts for Clues in Mumbai Inquiry

BY Admin  December 1, 2008 at 10:10 AM EDT

Mumbai residents hold candlelight rememberance; AP

Indian officials continue to look for traces of Pakistan’s
involvement, while the Pakistani government claims none of its state agencies
were involved in the coordinated attacks on 10 targets in Mumbai that killed
183 people over a three-day span.

Shivraj Patil, India’s top domestic security official,
resigned after his office failed to prevent the attacks in the country’s
financial capital that ended on Saturday.

On Monday, India’s foreign ministry said it informed
Pakistan’s high commissioner that the attacks were carried out by elements from
Pakistan.

India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said the
high commissioner was told that India “expects that strong action would be
taken against those elements,” the Associated Press reported.

The attacks heightened fears of renewed violence between
India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed countries who have fought three previous
wars. Pakistan recently elected a civilian government to replace President
Pervez Musharraf with President Asif Ali Zardari.

A senior official involved with the investigation told
Reuters that the militants who carried out the attacks had months of military
training in Pakistan.

“They underwent training in several phases, which
included training in handling weapons, bomb making, survival strategies,
survival in a marine environment and even dietary habits,” a second
officer told Reuters.

A previously unknown Muslim group Deccan Mujahideen claimed
responsibility for the attacks, but Indian officials said another group,
Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible. Lashkar-e-Taiba, considered a terrorist
organization by the U.S. and Britain, was formed to help fight India in
Kashmir, a long-disputed region between India and Pakistan.

The group was blamed for an attack on India’s Parliament in
December 2001 and in the past had close ties to the Pakistani government’s
Inter-Services Intelligence.

President George Bush’s administration said that in the
continuing investigation, it had not found evidence suggesting involvement by
the Pakistani government and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino would not
comment on any possible involvement.

Perino said that Pakistan pledge to work with India on the
investigation.

“We have been encouraged by the statements by the
Pakistanis that they are committed to following this wherever it leads. We
would expect nothing less of them on this instance,” Perino said,
according to Reuters.

Pakistan denied involvement by any of its state agencies in
the attacks and called them a “barbaric act of terrorism,” according
to Reuters.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani called leaders
to a conference on Tuesday to discuss relations with India after the attacks,
Gilani’s spokesman Zahid Bashir said on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday that
world leaders must commit to “following up whatever leads there are, in
making sure that the people who perpetrated this act are brought to
justice.”

Rice, appearing in London with British Foreign Secretary
David Miliband, said the U.S. expects full cooperation from Pakistan. She will
travel to New Delhi later this week.