WORLD / Asia-Pacific

Mumbai police suspects LeT in train blasts
Updated: 2006-07-13 13:36

MUMBAI, India, July 13 -- The Mumbai police said Thursday they have found a strong Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) link in Tuesday's train blasts that killed 183 people and injured hundreds more.

"Evidence suggests the LeT has a strong link with the blasts," said K.V. Raghuvanshi, joint commissioner of police (Anti-Terrorist Squad - ATS).

"In January the ATS had unearthed Lashker's efforts to rebuild its terror network in Mumbai. The matter came to light with the arrest of three Kashmiri men with LeT links and a cleric," he added.

According to him, the Mumbai module was set up four years ago with the coming together of the LeT and local activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

He said police were also exploring whether there were any links between the 43 kg of RDX seized from Marathwada and north Maharashtra in the past few months and Tuesday's blasts.

"It is possible that more RDX could still be hidden in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. This may have been used in Tuesday's blasts," Raghuvanshi added.

At the same time, he admitted it "is not always possible" for security agencies to pin down the terror outfits.

"We may have had intelligence inputs on terror targets, but it is not always possible to pin down the outfits or learn the exact nature of their plans. Sometimes we are successful, at other times we are not," he said.

Mumbai police Crime Branch officials said the terrorists had loaded the explosive devices on the trains at the Churchgate station and had alighted from the trains soon after.

"We are pretty sure that the explosive devices were loaded at Churchgate. They had done their homework well and were well conversant with train timetables. After planting the devices they got off the trains at stations immediately after Churchgate," said a Crime Branch officer.

The official, however, rued that the bomb detection squad lost precious evidence Tuesday as it failed to reach the blast sites quickly enough and also because of the showers following the blasts. Enditem