‘Terrorists planned to kill 5,000 in Mumbai attacks’

November 29th, 2008 - 11:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 29 (IANS) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R. R. Patil’s revelation Saturday that the terrorists had planned to kill at least 5,000 people in the Mumbai attacks has stunned people and authorities alike while investigations are underway to get to the root of the conspiracy.The nabbed terrorist, identified as Ajmal Amir Kasab, has made several startling revelations during the preliminary interrogation, according to police sources.

The needle of suspicion is pointing in the direction of the dreaded Lashkar-e-Taiba with indications that the terrorists were trained for a year before the attack.

Ajmal, 21, according to the sources, is from Faridkot in Pakistan, and was involved in the indiscriminate firings carried out at least three locations - Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Cama & Albless Hospital and Metro Cinema areas - all located within a radius of one km.

An unspecified quantity of arms and ammunition has been recovered from him.

Commending the sustained efforts of the combined security forces, the deputy chief minister said the terrorists’ devious intention to unleash terror of an unimaginable magnitude in Mumbai “was foiled”.

The authorities have been shaken by the recovery of two live bombs - each weighing 8 kg - which were intended to blow the iconic Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel.

Although Patil could not comment on the composition of the bombs, whether they contained RDX, they have been sent to a forensic sciences laboratory for analysis. Its report is expected within a couple of days, he said.

Patil’s statements came after a preliminary examination of several of the terror-hit spots like the Taj, the Trident-Oberoi, Nariman House, CST, Cama & Albless Hospital and the blast in a cab at Vile Parle.

The team of experts, which carried out the primary examinations, was drawn from the Mumbai police, National Security Guard and forensic scientists.

The outcome of the investigations prompted Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to rush to New Delhi this evening to brief the centre about the unfolding developments.

So far, the authorities have confirmed the involvement of 11 terrorists in the 13 terror attacks that Mumbai was subjected to Wednesday night.

The combined security forces, including 350 NSG commandos, successfully eliminated 10 terrorists in different encounters, while one - Ajmal - was captured in the terror attacks that held Mumbai to ransom for 60 hours since Wednesday.

Ajmal’s associate, who was killed by the police near Girgaum Chowpatty early Thursday morning, has been identified as Abu Ismail, 25.

He and Ajmal are believed to be responsible for the attacks on the police officials and hijacking a police van that night. The process is on to identify the other terrorists involved in the attacks, a police official said.

At least 183, including 22 foreign nationals, were killed and 239 injured in the worst terror attack in Mumbai.

Twenty security men also lost their lives and included some of the finest officers of Mumbai police and two NSG commandos.

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