Mumbai Attacked By Terrorists

Posted by Kris | Friday, November 28, 2008 | | 0 comments »

By Rina Chandran

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Pakistan's spy chief has agreed to share intelligence with New Delhi on the brazen militant attacks in Mumbai, India said on Friday, as a siege at two hotels and a Jewish center neared its end amid gunfire and more deaths.

India again pointed a finger at Pakistani-linked "elements" for Wednesday's coordinated attacks by Islamist militants in its financial capital, which police said killed at least 121 people.

In a diplomatic exchange that raised the prospect of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals, Foreign Minister Pranab urged Pakistan to dismantle infrastructure supporting militants.

His counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, called in turn on India not to play politics over the attacks in Mumbai.

"Do not bring politics into this issue. This is a collective issue. We are facing a common enemy and we should join hands to defeat the enemy," he told reporters during a visit to the Indian town of Ajmer.

But, in a move that perhaps reflected Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's conciliatory stance toward his neighbor, Islamabad agreed to send the head of its military intelligence service, the ISI, to India to share information on the attacks.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requested the visit of Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha when Pakistani leaders telephoned him in the wake of the attack, his spokesman said.

"We confirm the news," he said of television reports.

One of the militants arrested in Mumbai was a Pakistani national, the interior minister of Maharashtra state, R.R. Patil, told reporters. Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra.

Commandos took control of the Trident-Oberoi hotel on Friday, some 36 hours after the evening strike on the city. Mumbai police chief Hassan Ghafoor said 24 bodies were found in the building.

But battles raged on with militants who were still holed up in another luxury hotel and a Jewish center with at least half a dozen foreign hostages.

"The Oberoi Hotel and Trident are now under our control," the National Security Guards chief J.K. Dutt said. "Oberoi-Trident have been evacuated, we have killed two terrorists."

After a morning of shooting and explosions, the head of one commando unit flushing out militants at the five-star Taj Mahal hotel said he had seen 12 to 15 bodies in one room among a total of 50 in the hotel.

The commandos found money, ammunition and an identity card from Mauritius that they suspected belonged to the militants, the commander, his face disguised by a black scarf and sunglasses, told a news conference.