Pakistan Denies Role In Mumbai Attacks

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Firefighters attend to a fire at the Taj Mahal Hotel i

Firefighters attend to a fire at the Taj Mahal Hotel following the siege, in Mumbai on Saturday. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
Firefighters attend to a fire at the Taj Mahal Hotel

Firefighters attend to a fire at the Taj Mahal Hotel following the siege, in Mumbai on Saturday.

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Authorities in India are trying to determine how fewer than a dozen militants managed to hold hundreds of police officers and security forces at bay during a three-day siege in Mumbai that left nearly 200 people dead, including at least five Americans.

Bodies were still being removed Saturday night from the Taj Mahal Hotel, the site of the final showdown between government forces and the militants. Workers had begun to put up plywood barriers around the hotel, but the scars of battle were still in plain view: broken windows, burnt-out walls and a few sheets and drapes hanging from windows as if they'd been used to escape.

A candlelight vigil was held on a plaza nearby, in front of the Gateway of India monument. Police say that's where the gunman came ashore Wednesday before launching the attacks. Authorities believe there were 10 gunmen, nine of whom were killed and one who was captured.

The surviving gunman is from Pakistan, adding to suspicions that India's neighbor was involved in the attacks, a claim Islamabad strongly denied.

"Pakistan stands fully committed to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations because we're also victims of terrorism," Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said. He added that the country would help India bring those responsible for the attacks to justice.

President Bush also pledged support, saying the terrorists would "not have the final word."

"We pledge the full support of the United States as India investigates these attacks, brings the guilty to justice and sustains its democratic way of life," he said Saturday in brief remarks at the White House after returning from a holiday weekend at Camp David.

FBI agents were sent to help investigate.

The State Department warned U.S. citizens still in Mumbai that their lives remain at risk. The attack, which is credited to Islamic militants, began on Wednesday with gun and grenade assaults centered on two luxury hotels in downtown Mumbai. According to witnesses, the attackers singled out British and American citizens. At least 195 people were killed and 295 wounded.

From NPR and wire reports

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