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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 14:00 GMT
In quotes: Indian parliament attack
An ambulance outside parliament
The attack caused panic inside parliament
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee addressed the nation shortly after Thursday's attack on parliament in Delhi.

He was quick to denounce the militants:

Prime Minister Vaypayee
Vajpayee was not in the building
"This was not just an attack on the building, it was a warning to the entire nation.

"For the past two decades, we have been fighting terrorism, now the battle has reached its final phase.

"The fight has now reached a decisive stage."

Parliamentarian Kharbala Sain was in the building when the attack began.

"I heard a cracker-like sound near the entrance, then I saw people running helter-skelter.

"I saw many people firing at the same time. I couldn't make out who was who. I couldn't understand who the terrorists were and who the police were. My mind went blank."

A spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, V.K. Malhotra, described how one of the attackers nearly killed Vice-President Krishan Kant:

"He went inside and managed to fire at the door of the vice-president's office before he was shot down."

Defence Minister George Fernandes sought to calm the atmosphere in the capital.

"There is nothing to worry about. We are trying to identify who did [the attack]."

Many suspect Kashmiri militants were behind the attack. The Indian Government has long accused rival Pakistan of supporting the militants.

Black Cat commandos
Commandos were quickly on the scene

Srichand Kripalani of the BJP gave his reaction to Reuters news agency:

"The government should do what America has done in Afghanistan and what Israel is doing in Palestine.

"The government should not shy away from attacking Pakistan, if involvement is proved."

In Indian-administered Kashmir, the leader of the main separatist alliance, Abdul Gani Bhat, of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, denounced the attack to the AFP news agency:

"We want an investigation of the issue so that the ugly faces are unmasked forever."

See also:

10 Aug 00 | South Asia
Who are the Kashmir militants?
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