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Fear clouds Pakistan home of Mumbai attacker

Faridkot is a sleepy place. Languid animals graze as tractors prepare fields for maize and potato crops. But at the mention of one Pakistani's name, a fearful hush falls on the residents.

world Updated: Nov 19, 2009 20:50 IST

Faridkot is a sleepy place. Languid animals graze as tractors prepare fields for maize and potato crops. But at the mention of one Pakistani's name, a fearful hush falls on the residents.

No one wants to talk about the village's most infamous son: Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, who along with nine other men allegedly stormed multiple targets in India's Mumbai on November 26, 2008, killing 166 people in a 60-hour siege.

"It's better not to mention him to them, otherwise you'll land in trouble and they might beat you," warns Hussain Rizwan, a 30-year-old gym owner from the neighbouring village who refuses to give directions to Faridkot.

Sitting on the side of the road, Rizwan tells AFP: "People from the village don't talk about Kasab. They feel insecure and fear a possible reaction by the government or attack by India."

Kasab was the lone survivor of the militant team which struck a railway station, two luxury hotels, a cafe and a Jewish centre in a raid on India's biggest city that has been dubbed the sub-continent's "9/11".

New Delhi has said all the attackers were Pakistani and accused Pakistani state agencies of involvement in the bloody siege, sending relations between the nuclear-armed foes to the lowest ebb in years.

Now standing trial in Mumbai, Kasab has confessed his role, claiming he was trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which along with similar Islamist groups finds disenfranchised youth of rural Pakistan a fertile recruiting ground.