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Three Lashkar fidayeen captured

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Praveen Swami

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Police investigators say they have evidence that operatives of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the fidayeen-squad attacks in Mumbai — a charge which, if proven, could have far-reaching consequences for India-Pakistan relations.

Police sources said an injured terrorist captured during the fighting at the Taj Mahal hotel was tentatively identified as Ajmal Amir Kamal, a resident of Faridkot, near Multan, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Highly-placed police sources said two other Pakistani nationals had also been held in the course of intense fighting on Thursday.

All three, the sources said, identified themselves as members of a Lashkar fidayeen squad.

Based on the interrogation of the suspects, the investigators believe that one or more groups of Lashkar operatives left Karachi in a merchant ship early on Wednesday. Late that night, an estimated 12 fidayeen left the ship in a small boat and rowed some 10 nautical miles to Mumbai’s Gateway of India area.

The investigators say the fidayeen unit of which Mr. Kamal was a part then split up into at least six groups, each focussing on a separate target: Mumbai’s Nariman House, which is home to a large number of Israeli families and a Jewish prayer house; the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus rail station; the Cama hospital; the Girgaum seafront; and the Taj and Trident Oberoi hotels.

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