India questions two over Mumbai attacks
AFP - 2 hours 2 minutes ago
MUMBAI (AFP) - - Indian police resumed interrogations on Sunday of two men arrested on suspicion of helping militants carry out the Mumbai attacks, which have stoked tensions with neighbouring Pakistan.
Pakistan's ambassador to Britain said officials feared India was planning a military strike after saying that all the attackers, who killed 163 people in a three-day siege, had come from Pakistan.
The United States sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to India and Pakistan last week to keep a lid on tensions between the two countries, which are both equipped with nuclear weapons and have fought three wars since 1947.
"There was circumstantial evidence that India was going to make a quick strike against Pakistan to teach her a lesson," Wajid Shamsul Hassan, the Pakistani high commissioner to London, told the BBC.
"This is what we were told by our friends -- that there could possibly be a quick strike at some of the areas they suspect to be the training camps, an air raid or something of that sort," he said.
Hassan said he alerted Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari to the danger and Islamabad's concerns were passed on to US and British officials who intervened to calm the situation, according to the BBC.
Pakistan has repeatedly called for "concrete proof" from India, which says the only gunman captured alive has admitted that the attackers had come from across the border. Nine militants were also killed during the siege.
Indian police on Friday arrested two men suspected of providing mobile phone SIM cards to the attackers. The pair, believed to be the only people arrested apart from the captured gunman, were questioned Saturday.
One of the men was reported to be from Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in whole by each. Both men are said to be Indian nationals.
Suspicion in the Mumbai attacks has fallen on Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist militant group based in Pakistan which has fought Indian rule in Kashmir and was blamed for a 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.
Pakistan, a close US ally in the "war on terror," is fighting its own brutal Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, and officials reject claims that the government supports terror groups.
But elements in the country's powerful military intelligence service are widely suspected of at least tacitly supporting some militant groups, and some Indian papers said the spy agency had trained the Mumbai gunmen.
"Our position is that we have always been and still are the victims of terrorism," Zardari, the Pakistani president, said.
The brazen assault with machine guns and grenades targeted hotels, a Jewish centre, the main train station, a hospital and other cites in Mumbai, India's financial capital .
It left 172 dead, including nine gunmen, and more than 300 people wounded.
Indian media reports claimed a suspected Lashkar operative arrested in February staged reconnaissance missions in Mumbai, including at the railway station. Some said he had hand-drawn maps of Mumbai landmarks.
Mumbai's crime branch wants "to interrogate him in connection with the attacks" and see whether he provided any information to the militants, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.
In Vienna, officials said they would probe reports that militants used an Austrian mobile phone number during the siege.
High security remains in place at India's major airports after warnings of aircraft hijackings, while police were on alert for the anniversary of the controversial razing of a mosque in the north of the country.
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