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Indian police link Pakistan to train blasts in Mumbai

MUMBAI, India -- An Indian investigator yesterday accused Pakistan's spy agency of orchestrating the July train bombings that killed at least 207 people in Mumbai -- an accusation that could threaten the shaky peace process between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Pakistan's minister of state for information, Tariq Azim, denied the allegation, calling it ``irresponsible" and demanding that India provide evidence of the link.

India called a halt to the two years of peace talks with Pakistan after the bombings in Mumbai, also known as Bombay. The blasts ripped through several suburban commuter trains on July 11, killing at least 207 people and wounding 700.

Negotiations resumed this month when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India met Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, on the sidelines of a conference in Cuba. The two agreed to set up a joint mechanism to combat terrorism.

Mumbai's police commissioner, A.N. Roy, the lead investigator in the bombings, said Pakistan's Directorate of Inter Services Intelligence began planning the attacks in March and provided funding and training for the bombers in the Pakistani town of Bahawalpur, a center of militant activity.

Roy said the attacks were carried out by the Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, with help from the Students Islamic Movement of India, a banned Muslim organization.

He said 15 people have been arrested so far, including 11 Pakistanis. Three Indians are still on the run, he added, and another Pakistani bomber was reported killed in the explosions.

He offered no evidence to support the link, but said it was revealed during the questioning of suspects who had been drugged with a ``truth serum" to force them to divulge information.

In the past, Pakistan has denied involvement in the attacks.

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