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India Works to Gather Evidence in Deadly Attacks in Mumbai

One of the first issues that will face Barack Obama's foreign policy team is what to do about the India-Pakistan conflict. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

India continues to investigate the terrorist attacks last week in Mumbai. More than one hundred seventy people were killed in two and a half days of violence.

Indian officials have blamed what they call "elements from Pakistan." They tell Indian media that they have linked the military's Inter-Services Intelligence agency to the attackers. Pakistan denies any government involvement.

The attackers struck hotels, a train station, a Jewish center and other targets, including a hospital. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is India's financial and film capital.

Indian officials said nine gunmen were killed and one was captured. They say the man has said he is a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani Islamic group that India has tied to other attacks. Pakistan banned the group in two thousand two.

Many Indians are angry at the government for not doing more to fight terrorism. Hundreds have died this year in bombings in New Delhi and other cities.

India admits to failures by its security and intelligence services in the attack on Mumbai. American officials say India had received warnings. India's home minister, its top law enforcement official, resigned.

Pakistan has offered to jointly investigate the attack with India. India wants Pakistan to surrender twenty suspects. But President Asif Ali Zardari said that even if India provided proof of their involvement, they would be tried in Pakistan.

India has increased security at airports because of threats sent by e-mail to government officials and media organizations, including VOA. They claim to come from the Deccan Mujahideen, the same group that took responsibility in Mumbai.

India has also been looking into the possibility that one of its citizens, under arrest for months, was involved in planning the attack. Police in Uttar Pradesh say the man had detailed drawings of some of the targets.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other American officials traveled to India and Pakistan, trying to calm the tensions. The attacks threaten the recent steps that the nuclear-armed neighbors have taken to improve relations.

The issue will be one of the first for Barack Obama's foreign policy team. The president-elect announced his team this week, led by his nominee for secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. Robert Gates will continue as defense secretary. And a retired Marine general, Jim Jones, will be national security adviser when the new president takes office in January.

Last year Congress established a group to study how to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. This week the commission released its report. It says the world must act quickly to control the spread of biological and nuclear weapons, the greatest threats. Otherwise, it says, terrorists are more likely than not to use such a weapon somewhere in the world by the end of two thousand thirteen.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.