Accessibility links

India: Mumbai Attackers and Supporters Will Pay Heavy Price


World leaders are condemning the deadly terror attacks in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai. Assailants armed with grenades and machine guns attacked at least 10 sites throughout Mumbai late Wednesday, killing more than 100 people and wounding about 300. India's prime minister says the perpetrator and supporters of the terror attacks on Mumbai will pay a heavy price. He issued the warning even as commando operations continued at two luxury hotels and a Jewish Center. VOA's Ravi Khanna has more on the story.

India's leader describes the coordinated attacks as "well-planned and well-orchestrated", saying they probably had "external links." Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared on television.

"We will take up strongly with our neighbors that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated," he said. "And that there will be a cost if suitable measures are not taken by them."

He did not name Pakistan but the reference was apparent. Pakistani leaders condemned the attacks. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was visiting India for peace talks at the time of the assault.

"I have come here to build bridges. I have come to say that we have to develop a better understanding. Let's not jump to conclusions. Let us not go in for knee-jerk reactions," Qureshi stated.

The White House says President Bush called India's prime minister to offer support and condolences. Mr. Bush and President-elect Obama both condemned the attacks and offered any kind of help India needs. Neither appeared on camera Thursday, which is the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

In London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also offered help. He said empathetically, "I believe that we've got to do everything we can now to help the Indian authorities as they deal with what is a terrorist outrage which has become all too common in their country."

Speaking in Berlin on Thursday Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier denounced the attacks."I got back from India on Saturday morning and I am shocked by the attacks, which we, the German government, strongly condemn," he said.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said his ministry was in communication with officials in Mumbai. "Our crisis team has been in touch with everyone that we could get a hold of overnight," he said.

Amid speculation that attackers might be Islamic extremists, there is reaction from the Palestinian Authority. President Mahmoud Abbas also issued a condemnation.

"We pay our condolences to our friends in the Indian government and we strongly condemn this act and all acts of violence in the world no matter in what form. We completely and strongly condemn violence and terror," he said.

As reports center on the possibility that the terrorists sought U.S. and British nationals, the Spanish ambassador to India, lon de La Riva, raised concern that Spaniards might have been targeted in Mumbai.

"We of course are in Afghanistan, we have received all kinds of threats," he said with concern. "We are the second country to have lost lives in Afghanistan after the United States, so I wouldn't be surprised if we were targeted on purpose."

Pakistani analyst Zahid Hussein summed up the question looming large in South Asia. "It is quite an alarming situation because it seems that the entire region is now up in flames and has become the target of terrorist attacks, from Afghanistan to Pakistan and now India," he said.

A previously unknown group Deccan Mujahedin has claimed responsibility for the attacks. It is not clear if the claim is credible. Terrorism experts say the group claiming credit could be a front for one of the larger terrorist groups that have carried attacks in India in the past.

XS
SM
MD
LG