India's deputy prime minister says
there are indications Islamic militants were involved in two car bomb attacks
in Bombay on Monday, which killed at least 50 people and injured around 150.
The Indian official also indirectly pointed the finger at neighboring Pakistan.
Enroute to Bombay to visit the sites of the bombings, Indian Deputy Prime Minister
Lal Krishna Advani told reporters that preliminary investigations indicate two
banned Islamic militant groups were involved in the attacks.
|Lal Krishna Advani,
Deputy Prime Minister
He cited the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba as a main suspect. The second
group under suspicion is an Indian group, the Student Islamic Movement of India.
Mr. Advani did not specifically allege that Pakistan was behind Monday's bombings
in Bombay, but he did accuse Islamabad of waging a war of terrorism against India
as a whole, not only in the disputed region of Kashmir.
"I would say that our neighbor's war of terrorism against us is not directed
only against Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Mr. Advani accused Pakistan of seeking to destabilize India. He also dismissed
Pakistan's condemnation of Monday bomb attacks as a "mere formality."
He said he could only accept the condemnation as serious if Pakistan handed
over a number of suspects wanted in India in connection with another series
of bombings in Bombay in 1993.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is one of the militant groups fighting Indian forces in Kashmir.
India has often blamed the group for carrying out attacks against Indian troops
and civilians. It also accuses Pakistan of supporting those attacks, a charge
Islamabad has repeatedly denied.
In recent months relations between India and Pakistan have been on the mend
with both sides resuming a dialogue and saying they want to resolve their differences
through peaceful means.
A day after Monday's bomb attacks, life in Bombay returned to normal with
shops, schools and businesses open. The bomb sites were closed off as police
continued to search for clues.
Police have stepped up security in major cities throughout India following