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India Marks First Anniversary of Deadly Mumbai Attacks བོད་སྐད།


Indian police showed off upgraded equipment, and residents held silent memorials in Mumbai, one year after devastating attacks by militants paralyzed the country's financial hub for 60 hours and killed 166 people.

Police commandoes rappelleddown buildings, brandished new weapons and drove new armored vehicles in a parade through the city. It was a show of force and security as part of anniversary ceremonies marking the attacks.

The new equipment is part of Mumbai's $27 million plan to improve security after being criticized for being poorly trained and inadequately armed to protect the city against the terror attacks.

On a visit to the U.S., Indian Prime Minister Manhoman Singh noted the "supreme sacrifice" of the victims and pledged it would not be in vain.

Back in Mumbai, residents remembered the victims with candles and messages at the attack sites, as well as prayer ceremonies and candlelight vigils.

The bloody siege began on November 26, 2008, when 10 heavily armed gunmen stormed multiple targets in Mumbai, including two hotels and a Jewish center.

The lone surviving gunman, Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, is currently on trial in India, while seven men were charged in Pakistan Wednesday with planning and helping to carry out the carnage.

In Washington, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh welcomed the charges, but said Pakistan must do everything it can to punish those responsible.

Prosecutors say the seven suspects belong to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, which India and the United States have accused of orchestrating the assault. They pleaded not guilty to the charges at a maximum-security prison in Rawalpindi near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

India has been pressing for months for Pakistan to more aggressively pursue the Mumbai plotters. Two of the defendants have been accused byIndian authorities of masterminding the attacks.

But an attorney for the defendants told VOA his clients are innocent, and the judicial system has not treated them fairly. He blamed what he called "external pressures" for Wednesday's indictments, but did not explain.

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