Accessibility links

Breaking News

5 Suspects Detained in Calcutta Attack

Police in India's West Bengal State have detained five men in connection with Tuesday's attack on a police check post outside the American Center Library in Calcutta (Kolkata). Four police officers died in the attack and more than a dozen other people were wounded. U.S. officials say it is unclear who was behind the attack.

The American Center Library and the U.S. Consulate reopened for business Wednesday, one day after gunmen sprayed a police check point outside the American Center library with automatic weapons fire - shooting police and pedestrians before speeding away.

Police in the state of West Bengal say some of those detained on Wednesday were taken into custody in Basirhat, about 40 kilometers north of Calcutta. Police say several of the detainees are teachers at a local Islamic school.

India's home minister and other senior officials have charged Islamic militants carried out the attack with ties to Pakistan's intelligence service, a charge strongly denied by Pakistani officials.

In New Delhi, U.S. embassy spokesman Gordon Duguid says American officials have not determined who was behind the attack. "Even now the motive of this attack is unknown to us, or at least unconfirmed," he said. "Although there are media reports that two different groups have claimed responsibility, the accurate identity of the attackers is still to be confirmed."

Indian media reports quote authorities in West Bengal as saying they believe the attackers are linked to a Muslim criminal gang of kidnappers who were seeking to avenge the death of their leader, who was killed by police last year. The reports say police guarding the American Center Library were the prime targets of the attackers and not the American Center or its employees.