Central & South Asia
Mumbai suspect is 'Pakistani'
PM sacks adviser for leaking first confirmation of nationality without approval.
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2009 08:42 GMT

India says it has evidence the Mumbai attacks originated in Pakistan [EPA]

Pakistani officials have acknowledged for the first time that the lone surviving suspected gunman from November's attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai attacks is of Pakistani origin.

Shortly after the announcement the country's senior security adviser was sacked, apparently for leaking the news without government approval.

Mahmoud Ali Durrani, the country's national security adviser, was fired following his "irresponsible behaviour, a statement from the office of Pakistan's prime minister said.

It said Durrani had been removed "for not taking [the] prime minister and other stakeholders into confidence, and lack of co-ordination on matters of national security".

Pakistan's Geo television station quoted Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani prime minister, as saying that Durrani had made unauthorised comments to the media that suspected Mumbai gunman Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, is a Pakistani national.

Durrani was dismissed for "irresponsible behaviour", the government said [Reuters]

Indian officials say that Kasab is the sole survivor of 10 gunmen involved in the November attacks, which left at least 179 people dead with hundreds more wounded.

On Wednesday, following Durrani's alleged comments on the issue, Pakistan's foreign and information ministries confirmed Kasab was a citizen of Pakistan.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have increased markedly in the wake of the Mumbai killings, with Indian officials expressing doubt that the attacks could have taken place without the knowledge of senior figures in Pakistan.

'Kill them'

"If you are still threatened, then don't saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them."

Suspected coordinator of Mumbai attacks

Pakistan's confirmation of Kasab's nationality came after Indian investigators handed over what they said was evidence the Mumbai attacks were launched from across the border.

On Wednesday Indian media reports carried details of a transcript of phone calls Indian authorities say they intercepted during the siege, with men said to be Pakistan-based fighters issuing orders, reprimands and encouragement to the gunmen.

"Keep your phone switched on," the transcript quotes one handler instructing a gunman, "so that we can hear the gunfire".

"We have three foreigners, including women,'' a gunman responded from Mumbai's Oberoi Hotel where hostages had been captured.

India's prime minister has said Pakistan must do more to prevent further attacks [AFP]
"Kill them," replied the alleged handler.

The transcript then says that gunshots are heard, followed by cheering.

The transcripts, obtained by The Hindu newspaper, were translated from Punjabi into English by Indian authorities.

Elsewhere the documents detail an alleged exchange between a handler and gunmen who had seized a Mumbai Jewish centre.

"If you are still threatened, then don't saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them," the handler tells the attackers.

Six Jewish foreigners, including a rabbi and his wife, were killed inside the building.

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