India holds LeT responsible for blasts

March 10, 2006 at 5:43 AM
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NEW DELHI, March 10 (UPI) -- Indian intelligence agencies have identified terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba as the prime suspect behind the Varanasi blasts.

The Indian Express newspaper said Friday the intelligence agencies told the cabinet committee on security, a key security committee of the federal government, that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit was the prime suspect in the Varanasi blasts and had most probably used operatives from Bangladesh and local elements to carry out the bombings.

"The status report presented to the CCS pointed out that the evidence collected so far indicated that LeT was the mastermind behind the bomb blasts though LeT men were not on the ground to personally set off the bombs. For that, the LeT is believed to have used Bangladeshis living illegally in Uttar Pradesh," said a news report quoting an unidentified Indian intelligence official.

The official said in both cases, pressure cookers with timer devices were used to store improvised explosive devices which were triggered in the evening, when people crowd market places and religious shrines.

According to the official, neither the bombs nor the remote detonators were very sophisticated.

Two powerful bombs exploded in a temple and a railway station in the northern holy city of Varanasi, killing at least 14 people and injuring over 60.

"There is a possibility that at least five or six people were behind the blasts. We are also studying similarities between the twin blasts here and the pre-Diwali blasts in Delhi. The modus operandi is unmistakably similar," said Navneet Sakera, senior superintendent of Varanasi police.

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