‘Terrorists boarded boat near Karachi, killed five fishermen’

December 1st, 2008 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 30 (IANS) The group of 11 terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks had boarded a fishing boat near Karachi in Pakistan five days earlier, a senior investigating official revealed Sunday.According to the investigation, the terror group loaded their arms and ammunition and boarded the boat Nov 21 from a location near Karachi, said the official who declined to be identified.

All the terrorists - in their 20s - are said to be members of the Lashker-E-Taiba (LeT), he said.

They all had undergone rigorous training in terror camps in which they learnt all ways to create terror, especially in crowded places, the official said.

The group seized an Indian fishing boat, Kuber, from Okha on the Gujarat coast in the Pakistani territorial waters, attacked four of the fishermen-crew, killed them and dumped their bodies in the sea.

The terrorists then asked the ship’s captain Balwant Tandel to take them to Mumbai, the investigator said, adding that all the while they continued to receive instructions on their satellite phones.

Around three nautical miles off Mumbai coast, they pounced on the captain and killed him too. Tandel’s body, with his throat slit from ear to ear was recovered last week by the Coast Guard.

Then they unloaded the consignment in an inflatable dingy, boarded it and landed at the fishing port adjacent to the Badhwar Park in Colaba of south Mumbai, just a few hours before the attack that began around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

“None of them had stayed in either of the two hotels (the Taj and the Oberoi-Trident) attacked before they struck,” the investigating official said.

They were told to execute the original plan of killing around 5,000 people in Mumbai and then safely returning home to Pakistan, the official said.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil had said Saturday that the terrorists had come by the sea route on the day of the attacks and had planned to kill 5,000 people in the city.

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