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Indian Official: Pakistani Intelligence Agency Behind Mumbai Attacks

VOA News 14 July 2010

India's top security official has accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of controlling and coordinating the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed 166 people.

In an interview with the Indian Express newspaper published Wednesday, Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai alleged that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) played a much more significant role in planning and executing the attacks than was earlier known.

Pillai said the level of Pakistan's involvement became clear through last month's interrogation of David Headley, a suspect being held in the United States.

Headley, a Pakistani-American, pleaded guilty earlier this year to helping scout hotels and other sites in Mumbai that were targeted by the militants.

The home secretary's comments come as India Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna arrived in Islamabad Wednesday for talks with his Pakistani counterpart aimed at resuming a peace process that has stalled since the attacks.

Pakistan has denied that its intelligence agency was involved in the Mumbai attacks.

The Mumbai attacks strained relations between the countries, but both sides have since pledged to move forward in an effort to normalize ties.

U.S. and Indian authorities have accused the Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of carrying out the November 2008 attacks. Ten gunmen attacked several locations throughout Mumbai in a three-day siege.

The two foreign ministers are also expected to discuss Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in its entirety by both.

Indian-controlled Kashmir has been rocked by anti-Indian rule protests and strikes for nearly a month. At least 15 people have died in shootings blamed on police and paramilitary soldiers trying to stop the protests.

Muslim insurgents have been fighting for independence from India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan for more than 20 years. Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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