Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Sunday, 30 November 2008

Officials quit over India attacks


Protests in Mumbai over the handling of the attacks

Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil and national security adviser MK Narayanan have submitted their resignations in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The moves come amid growing pressure on the Indian government to explain why it was unable to prevent the militant strike in which at least 172 died.

It is not clear whether Mr Narayanan's resignation has been accepted.

The attacks have increased tensions with Pakistan after allegations the gunmen had Pakistani links.

Islamabad denies any involvement, but India's Deputy Home Minister, Shakeel Ahmad, told the BBC it was "very clearly established" that all the attackers were from Pakistan.

"Whether they had government backing or whether there was any official involvement in it - it will come to light after proper investigation," Mr Ahmad said.

Last gunman killed

The home minister wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "owning moral responsibility" for the attacks, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder, in Delhi, says.

His resignation has been accepted, and more departures may follow, our correspondent adds.

One of those injured in the Mumbai attacks in hospital

The resignations come ahead of an all party meeting set for Sunday evening, which is poised to discuss new anti-terror measures in India - including new anti-terror laws, and the possible creation of new anti-terror agency.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Mumbai on Sunday to protest at what they say were government failures in the face of the attacks.

Protesters say the authorities should have been more prepared for the attacks and also question whether warnings were ignored, and how long it took commandos to reach the scenes of the attacks.

Meanwhile, Cafe Leopold - one of the firsts target of the attacks on Wednesday evening - briefly reopened on Sunday in what its owner said was a show of defiance to the "terrorists".

As customers entered the cafe, staff wearing red polo shirts burst into applause and one man led a cheer of "God bless India".

"We will prove to terrorists by opening that we have won, you have not won," said Farhang Jehani, who owns and runs the cafe with his brother.

Death toll

Indian troops killed the last of the gunmen at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel on Saturday.

Shivraj Patil
More resignations are expected to follow that of Shivraj Patil

As few as 10 militants may have been involved in the assault which saw attacks in multiple locations including two hotels, a major railway station, a hospital and a Jewish centre.

While the vast majority of victims were Indians, at least 22 foreigners are known to have died, including victims from Israel, the US, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, Singapore, Thailand and France. One Briton, Andreas Liveras, was also killed.

Some of the gunmen came ashore by rubber dinghy on the night the killing began, others are reported to have been in the city for months gathering information on their targets.

The number of people killed remains unclear.

India's home ministry said the official toll in Mumbai was 183 killed, but earlier disaster authorities said at least 195 people had been killed and 295 wounded.

On Sunday morning the state governor put the death toll for the bombings at 172, although this could rise if more bodies are discovered in the search of the siege hotels.

Claim of responsibility

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said earlier he believed that a group based outside India was behind the killings and senior Indian politicians have said the only surviving gunman to be captured is from Pakistan.

A claim of responsibility for this week's attacks was made by a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen - a reference to a mainly Muslim region of India.

According to a statement leaked to Indian newspapers, the one alleged militant captured alive, named as Azam Amir Qasab, said the Mumbai militants had received training from an Islamist group once backed by Pakistani intelligence, Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Pakistan banned the group in 2002 at US insistence.

 Map of Mumbai showing location of attacks

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