Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mumbia blasts toll crosses 200

More than 200 people have died in a shocking terrorist attack on Mumbai, in a long line of attacks by Islamic terrorists against India in recent months.

More than 700 people have suffered gruesome injuries.

Lame-duck Prime Minister Mammohan Singh is making ineffective noises vowing "revenge", and Home Minister Shivraj Patil is completely quiet.

Shivraj Patil has the job of maintaining internal security and protecting Indian citizens from attacks of this kind. He is still silent, as he has been after recent attacks in Nagpur, Ayodhya, Delhi, Varanasi, and others.

MSNBC reports:
Death toll from Mumbai train blasts hits 200

700 wounded; Prime Minister Singh vows India will defeat terrorism

MUMBAI, India - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised this wounded city for its strength Wednesday, vowing that “no one can make India kneel,” while a senior investigator said the Mumbai train attacks that killed at least 200 people could be linked to a Kashmiri militant group.

A Foreign Ministry official demanded that Pakistan dismantle all terrorist networks on land it controls — but fell short of directly accusing India’s nuclear-armed rival for the attacks.

Singh highlighted the achievements of this city of 16 million, which staggered back to life despite attacks on the commuter train network Tuesday that killed at least 200 people and wounded more than 700.

“Your resilience and resolve will triumph over the evil designs of the merchants of death and destruction,” Singh said in a televised speech. “Let me say again, no one can make India kneel. No one can come in the path of our progress.”

Eight bombs ripped through packed trains at rush hour, stunning a city that sees itself as the embodiment of India’s global ambitions, where the country’s business community and entertainment world come together. The number of dead has risen steadily as rescuers have found more bodies and people died of their injuries.

Investigators picked through the mangled ruins of train cars, placing evidence in blue plastic bags beneath an overcast monsoon sky.

“We are just trying to establish what kind of explosives were used and where exactly the bombs were placed, but it appears they were kept in the luggage racks,” said police inspector Yeshwant Patil.

Plastic explosive used?
P.S. Pasricha, director general of police for Maharashtra state, earlier dismissed Indian media reports that the powerful plastic explosive RDX was used in the attack, saying investigators were awaiting the results of forensic tests.

Pasricha said investigators were looking into a possible link with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a Kashmiri militant group that has denied playing a role in the bombings.

“It is difficult to say definitely as this stage, but Lashkar-e-Tayyaba can be involved going by the style of attack,” Pasricha said.

Lashkar has previously carried out near-simultaneous explosions, according to Indian authorities, who blamed the group for bombings in New Delhi that killed 60 people last year.

Other Indian officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was just beginning, cautioned it was too early to accuse a specific group.


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