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Blasts: Every hostile group on radar, no specific leads yet

Mumbai: Investigators today probed ”every possible hostile group” in their search for culprits behind the Mumbai terror attack and the involvement of a suicide bomber was not being ruled out.

As Mumbaikars slowly came to grips with last evening’s three serial blasts, no specific leads emerged and authorities did not want to speculate on who could be involved merely saying that “all angles” are being probed.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram made it clear that it was too early “to point a finger at any one group”. All groups “hostile to India” are on the “radar” in the probe, he said. The Minister revised the death toll to 18 including a person with a severed head from 21 which was put out in an official list released by the ministry. 113 persons were injured of whom 23 are in a serious condition

Chidambaram rushed to Mumbai to review the situation and told reporters that ammonium nitrate, an explosive substance, was used in the Improvised Explosive Devices(IED) triggered by timer devices to carry out the “well coordinated” terror attack.

He also ruled out the use of remote control to trigger the blasts in Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar areas. Union Home Secretary R K Singh did not rule out the involvement of a suicide bomber.

“The NSG DG has informed that a body with circuit has been found from one of the sites. The body was found near the explosion site. We are not ruling out anything,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

Singh was replying to a question about the possibility of involvement of a suicide bomber in the blasts as the body was found with a circuit near one of the blast sites.
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad(ATS) Chief Rakesh Maria said it was too early to say whether a “human bomb” was involved.

On the possibility of cross border linkages with yesterday’s blasts, Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry U K Bansal said “As of now there is no ground to believe that there is any link of anyone from across the border.” Addressing a 70-minute joint news conference with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Chidambaram said “there was no “intelligence failure” on the part of central and state agencies to warn of an attack.

Asked whether the explosions were timed to disrupt the Indo-Pak Foreign Minister-level talks this month end, he said “we are not ruling out anything. That angle will also be kept in mind.”

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