India names 2 suspects in Mumbai train bombings | india | Hindustan Times
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India names 2 suspects in Mumbai train bombings

india Updated: Jul 13, 2006 23:12 IST
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Authorities on Thursday named two men as the first suspects in this week's train bombings, an apparent breakthrough in the frenetic investigations into the well-coordinated attacks that killed at least 200 people.

The government's Anti-Terror Squad released photos of two young, lightly bearded men, identified as Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz. The names indicated they were Muslims, but the government did not make that clear.

Their nationalities weren't provided, nor was it clear where the photos headshots, which appeared to have been taken from identification documents originated. No further details were provided.

But officials said earlier on Thursday that the prime suspect in Tuesday's bombings is Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist group that operates in Jammu and Kashmir

"Different indicators are there which hint at their involvement," said DK Shankaran, the top bureaucrat of Maharashtra. He refused to elaborate.

"The probe into blasts is on track and we should have something substantial soon," he said in a telephone interview.

Lashkar has in the past employed near-simultaneous explosions to hit cities, including an attack in New Delhi in October 2005 that killed more than 60 people. Lashkar was also named in an audacious attack on India's Parliament in 2001.

A spokesman for Lashkar, Abdullah Ghaznavi, has denied the group was involved in the serial train bombings across Bombay that left at least 200 people dead and more than 700 injured.

Also on Thursday, a man claiming to represent al-Qaida reportedly claimed that the terror network had set up a wing in Kashmir.

There was no way to immediately verify the claim, which if true would be the first time Osama bin Laden's network has claimed to have spread to Indian territory.

Kashmir's Current News Service reported that it received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Abu al-Hadeed, an Arabic name. The man, however, spoke in Urdu.

The news service, based in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian part of Kashmir, reported that the man said, "Today a unit of al-Qaida has been established in Jammu and Kashmir which shall henceforth be called al-Qaida Jammu and Kashmir."

The man also praised the Mumbai bombings. "Whosoever has carried out the attacks in Mumbai we express our gratitude and happiness," the man reportedly said, and also appealed to Indian Muslims to take up jihad, or struggle, against the Indian government.

The developments came a day after police conducted raids across this city of 16 million people and detained 350 people for questioning, most of them in Malwani, a northeastern suburb of Bombay, said police Inspector S Goshal.

He said none of them was formally arrested or charged, and they were rounded up only to help with the investigations.

Also on Thursday, the government issued a statement after a Cabinet meeting, saying it is committed to combating terrorism.

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