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Saturday, 15 December, 2001, 07:26 GMT
Suspects held over parliament raid
Clearing up after the attack on parliament
Washing away the bloodstains from the attack
Police in India say that at least 10 people, including some Pakistani nationals, are being held in connection with Thursday's attack on the parliament in Delhi.

India has blamed a Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant group for the suicide attack on its parliament which left 12 people dead.

Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said India had "technical evidence" that the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group was behind the attack.

Home Minister Advani
Home Minister LK Advani pays homage to one of the dead
But a spokesman for the group described the charges as "baseless" and denied that they were behind Thursday's raid.

Indian newspaper reports say that two of the five gunmen who died in the attack on parliament were Afghans and one was a Pakistani.

There are reports that one gunman who took part may have got away.

India has demanded that Pakistan take action against the Lashkar and another militant group, the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

A BBC correspondent in Delhi says Jaswant Singh's remarks are certain to raise tensions between India and Pakistan.

The Jaish had been blamed for an attack on the Kashmir state legislature in Srinagar in October that left more than 30 people dead.

Mr Singh said Pakistan's High Commissioner in Delhi had been given a set of demands about the two groups:

  • Their activities must be halted
  • Their leadership taken into custody
  • Action has to be taken against their financial assets

In its first reaction, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan told the BBC that his government would examine any evidence provided by India before deciding what to do.

Raids urged

The Indian Government is coming under pressure to take strong action after the attack on parliament.

On Friday ruling party MPs met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and urged him to authorise punitive raids on alleged militant training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.


This reinforces our determination to fight the evil of terrorism...at all cost

Parliament Speaker G Balayogi
All roads leading to parliament were sealed and sharpshooters kept a close watch as MPs trooped back to the house.

"Today we are one, we are united in this battle against terrorism, we'll fight back," Congress party MP Renuka Chowdhary said.

In the lower house, speaker Ganti Balayogi read a resolution on behalf of the members.

"This is not an attack just on parliament but on the very freedom of this country. And this reinforces our determination to fight the evil of terrorism...at all costs," he said.

Suicide raid

The attack took place soon after parliament adjourned on Thursday and more than 100 MPs, including senior ministers, were present in the building.

Jaswant Singh
Singh's comments could raise tension with Pakistan
The five attackers, armed with guns and hand grenades and wearing military-style fatigues, burst into the red sandstone complex shortly before noon local time.

One of the men blew himself up with explosives strapped to his body while a gunbattle between the rest and security personnel continued for almost an hour.

A bomb found in the complex was later detonated in a controlled explosion.

The attackers were killed, as well as four police officers, one unarmed parliament guard, a paramilitary constable and a gardener.

No members of parliament or ministers were hurt.

Security lapse

The attack has sent shockwaves through the establishment which had apparently been aware of a specific threat to parliament.


Senior ministers, including Mr Advani, said they had expected such an attack following 11 September and the fall of the Taleban.

Friday's newspapers in India pointed to the what they described as a shocking breach of national security.

"If changing into police uniform and possessing a fake parliamentary pass is all it takes for terrorists to fool security personnel... then there is something dangerously awry in the way our leadership has defined vigilance all this while," the Hindustan Times said.

"Whoever was behind the attack is perhaps less material now than how such an infringement of the highest security in the land could take place," The Times of India said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Alastair Lawson
"The upsurge in tension between the two countries is bound to concern the United States"
Rahul Bedi, Defence Analyst
"They are working on fairly credible evidence"
Hamid Gul, Former Pakistani Intelligence Chief
"These stories are being spun to put Pakistan in the dock"
See also:

13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Pakistan leads world condemnation
13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Kashmir groups condemn attack
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