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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

India makes protest to Pakistan

Investigations at the Jewish centre in Mumbai on 1/12/08
Investigations are under way at the Jewish centre and other sites

India has summoned Pakistan's high commissioner to lodge a formal protest over the attacks in Mumbai.

Indian officials have repeatedly said in recent days there is evidence the militants behind attacks that killed nearly 200 people had Pakistani links.

Islamabad has denied involvement and warned against letting "miscreants" inflame tensions in the region.

India's new home minister has vowed to "respond with determination and resolve" over the crisis.

At least 188 people were killed - including 22 foreigners - and more than 200 were injured after the attackers opened fire in several locations, including a railway station, a popular restaurant, a hospital, two hotels and a Jewish centre.

The attacks on the two hotels - the once luxurious Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi-Trident - and the Jewish centre resulted in nearly three days of running battles between elite commandos and the gunmen before the sites were secured.

'Avoid blame game'

India's foreign ministry said it had summoned Pakistan's high commissioner.

"He was informed that the recent terrorist attack on Mumbai was carried out by elements from Pakistan," the ministry said in a statement.

India "expects that strong action would be taken against those elements, whosoever they may be, responsible for this outrage," the high commissioner was reportedly told.

A spokesman for the Pakistani high commission played down the meeting, saying discussions were held in a "cordial atmosphere".

But there is no doubt India is slowly turning the heat on Pakistan following the attacks, the BBC's India correspondent Sanjoy Majumder says.

Following the attacks, the focus is on the lone gunman who survived and who is now in police custody.

CAPTURED GUNMAN
Undated photo of Azam Amir Qasab in hospital
Suspect named as Azam Amir Qasab
21 years old, fluent English speaker
Told police he is from Faridkot village, in Pakistan's Punjab province
Said the attackers took orders from handlers in Pakistan

According to Indian media reports, Azam Amir Qasab is from Pakistan and linked to the Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba, or Army of the Pure. The group denies involvement.

India's Deputy Home Minister, Shakeel Ahmad, told the BBC it was "very clearly established" that all the attackers had been from Pakistan - echoing similar comments from other officials in recent days.

Indian Minister of State of External Affairs Anand Sharma called the attacks a "grave setback" to the normalisation of relations with Pakistan.

Pakistan's Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, has said his country "would itself take action against the miscreants if there is any evidence against a Pakistani national".

But he cautioned India against making allegations in the media. "The blame game should be avoided at all costs as (it) may affect the state of relations between the two countries," he said.

The White House says it has heard nothing to suggest the Pakistani government was involved.

"We have been encouraged by the statements by the Pakistanis that they are committed to following this wherever it leads," spokeswoman Dana Perino said. "We would expect nothing less of them in this instance."

'Deep shock'

Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram vowed to take action over the attacks.

HOW THE ATTACKS HAPPENED

Militants take over trawler at sea, then sail into Mumbai on inflatable dinghies

Militants head to attack locations in four groups by taxi

First attack on railway terminus
More attacks follow on a cafe, two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre

"I want to assure the people on behalf of the government that we will respond with determination and resolve to the grave threat posed to the Indian nation," he told reporters.

"I recognise that there is a sense of anguish and deep shock among the people of India. This is a threat to the very idea of India, very soul of India."

The government is facing growing anger over its handling of the attacks and perceived intelligence failures.

Maharashtra state's chief minister on Monday joined his deputy and Mr Chidambaram's predecessor in resigning over the attacks.

According to reports, the personal belongings of 15 men were found aboard an abandoned ship from which the attacks were launched. This has raised questions as to whether all the gunmen have been found.

Only 10 militants have been identified, but, according to a private TV channel, Azam Amir Qasab apparently confirmed there were 15 attackers.

I looked back to see the waiter who was serving me getting hit by a bullet
Shivaji Mukherjee
Mumbai attack survivor

Questions have also been asked about India's failure to pre-empt the attacks, and the time taken to eliminate the gunmen.

A report in the Hindustani Times newspaper said a militant from Lashkar-e-Toiba arrested and questioned in February told intelligence services he had inspected the five-star Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi-Trident hotels and several other buildings in December 2007.

Quoted by his interrogator, the militant said he had passed on information to the group's operational commander.

Also, Reuters news agency quoted Damodar Tandel, head of Maharashtra's main fishermen's union, as saying he had warned the government about attempts to bring RDX explosives to Mumbai by sea but no-one acted on the information.

Unlike other countries that have been the victims of frequent terrorist attacks, India has no discernible or coherent counter-terrorism strategy that focuses both on the causes of the threat and its prevention, the BBC's defence and security correspondent Rob Watson says.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is reported to have said he plans to increase the size and strength of the country's anti-terrorist forces.

 Map of Mumbai showing location of attacks



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