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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
India blames Pakistan for 'terror'
Worshippers at the Swaminarayan temple pray for those killed in the recent attack
Mr Vajpayee spoke after an attack on a major temple
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee says the world must hold Pakistan accountable for supporting "terrorism" against India.


Pakistan must be held accountable for its continued sponsorship of terrorism in India

Prime Minister AB Vajpayee

Mr Vajpayee was addressing a conference of senior Indian police officers in Delhi on Monday.

His comments come after the death of five alleged Muslim militants in a gunfight with the police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore on Sunday, and the death of more than 30 people in an attack on a temple in the state of Gujarat last week.

Police say the men killed in Bangalore were wanted in connection with a bomb attack on the offices of a hard-line Hindu organisation.

The two gunmen killed by security forces at the Swaminarayan temple in Gujarat were said to belong to a Muslim militant group.

'Major victory'

Mr Vajpayee said: " We will intensify our diplomatic initiatives to remind the leading nations of the international coalition against terrorism that they must redeem their pledge to combat and defeat terrorism everywhere."

Mr Vajpayee (r) visits Swaminarayan temple with Chief Minister Narendra Modi (l)
Mr Vajpayee says Pakistan sponsors terrorism

"Which means," he said, "Pakistan must be held accountable for its continued sponsorship of terrorism in India."

In the most recent clash with suspected militants in Bangalore on Sunday, 13 police officers were injured.

The leader of the five was said to be Imam Ali, a wanted criminal who police say has links with Muslim militant groups.

A police spokesman said the killings were a major victory over terrorism.

Uncertainties

Police forces from two Indian states were involved in a joint operation.

The heavily armed raid was planned well in advance and is a major victory over terrorism, a police spokesman said.

There is much speculation that the man named as Imam Ali had links with Muslim militant groups wanted for bomb attacks across south India.

Imam Ali and another man escaped from a court in the south Indian city of Madras earlier this year.

Whether the dead in this gun battle were actual militants, who regard the Indian state as an enemy, or violent criminals motivated by money and gang politics, remains unclear, and may never be known for sure.

See also:

24 Jul 02 | Country profiles
30 Sep 02 | South Asia
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