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US fears Pak's role in Mumbai attacks

A US counterterrorism official said some "signatures of the attack" were consistent with the work of Pak militant groups known as LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed that have fought Indian troops in Kashmir. Special

world Updated: Nov 29, 2008 21:57 IST

US officials are worried about a possible surge in animosity between India and Pakistan after the bloody attacks in Mumbai. To ease tensions, intelligence officials are searching urgently for clues that might identify the attackers.

FBI agents were preparing to fly to India to investigate the bloody attacks in the Indian financial capital as the State Department warned US citizens still in the city that their lives remain at risk.

A US counterterrorism official said some "signatures of the attack" were consistent with the work of Pakistani militant groups known as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed that have fought Indian troops in Kashmir and also are reported to be linked to al-Qaida.

But the official emphasised it was premature to pinpoint who was responsible for the attacks. Another official, specialising in counterintelligence, also cautioned against rushing to judgment on the origins of the gunmen who waged a two-and-a-half-day rampage through India's leading commercial center before being killed.

The US officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

US officials are concerned about a flare-up in animosity similar to one that occurred after Pakistani militants attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001, the officials said.

Underscoring those fears, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called foreign minister of India twice, along with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, since the crisis began.

"There were very worrying tensions in the region," said Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman. "She was calling the president of Pakistan to get his read on how those tensions might be affected.