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26/11 case: 'Pink foam' presented before Pak court

By Rezaul H Laskar
December 09, 2012 15:50 IST
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Photographs of Lashkar-e-Tayiba training camps in Sindh and motorboats used by the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai are among evidence presented to an anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven Pakistanis charged with involvement in the 2008 strikes.

Officials of the Federal Investigation Agency presented the evidence to anti-terrorism court Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman during a hearing conducted behind closed doors in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Saturday.

The FIA officials presented photographs of the LeT training camps and motorboats to the judge. The motorboats and other items, currently in the custody of the FIA custody, were recovered in January 2009, media reports said on Sunday.

The articles presented by the FIA officials were made part of the judicial record after an initial examination by the judge. The FIA officials told the court that the terrorists involved in the attacks trained in the Arabian Sea on boats named Al-Hussaini, Al-Atta and Al-fouz.

They also trained in LeT camps in Mirpur Sakro area of Thatta district in Sindh and Yousaf Goth and Landhi areas of Karachi, the officials said.

These training camps covered an area ranging between 25 acres and 48 acres, the officials said. One of the seven suspects currently on trial, Hammad Amin Sadiq, had confessed that the 10 attackers had been kept in the training camps before being sent to Mumbai, the officials said.

Sadiq acted as a facilitator for the attackers while they were in Sindh, the officials said. Among the seven Pakistani suspects is also Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT's operations commander.

Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali had told PTI on Saturday that the FIA officials recorded their statements and provided details of 350 articles found in the LeT training camps, including life jackets and a 'pink foam' or pink coloured packaging material.

The 'pink foam' has emerged as a crucial piece of evidence in investigations of the Mumbai attacks on both sides of the border. Indian investigators found samples of the material at three sites where attackers planted bombs in Mumbai in November 2008.

Samples of the 'pink foam' were also found in the boat used by the attackers to travel to Mumbai and in a rucksack used by Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker who was hanged in an Indian jail last month.

In Pakistan, sleuths found the pink foam at the LeT training camps in Sindh. Special Prosecutor Ali requested the court on Saturday for an early disposal of the high-profile case, saying it had been unnecessarily delayed.

He noted that anti-terrorism courts in Punjab had begun hearing even ordinary terrorism cases on a daily basis but the high-profile Mumbai case was still being heard only once a week.

The judge remarked that hearings were being fixed according to the availability of the defence lawyers, who were not available for daily hearings. The next hearing of the case is scheduled for December 22.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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