Friday, July 14, 2006
Bombay, India Indian authorities named three 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.
Today the Bombay police commissioner said a man known only as Rahil was being sought in connection with the blasts. He refused to say more about the suspect.
The government's Anti-Terror Squad on Thursday issued photos of two young, lightly bearded men identified as Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz, said Sunil Mane, an anti-terror official.
Officials did not provide their nationalities, and it wasn't clear where the photos - head shots which appeared to have been taken for identification documents - originated.
But officials have said they believe the bombings were the work of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group that operates in Kashmir, the Himalayan region at the center of the long-running India-Pakistan conflict.
"Different indicators are there which hint at their involvement," said D.K. Shankaran, the top bureaucrat in Maharashtra state, where Bombay is the capital city. He refused to elaborate, but said seven teams of investigators were sifting through clues. "The probe into blasts is on track, and we should have something substantial soon."
Lashkar has previously carried out near-simultaneous explosions in Indian cities, including a bombing in New Delhi in October that killed more than 60 people. Lashkar was also named in an 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 Thursday, a man claiming to represent al-Qaida reportedly said the terror network had set up a wing in Kashmir, where Muslim militants have been fighting for independence or union with overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan.
There was no way to immediately verify the statement, 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 language of most Muslims on the Indian subcontinent.
The man also praised the Bombay bombings.