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Mumbai attacks: One year on

Ceremonies are being held in Mumbai (Bombay) to mark the first anniversary of a series of devastating attacks on the Indian city by militantsPolice have paraded in the city and later a memorial will be inaugurated and a candle-lit prayer service held.

The attacks, which began on 26 November 2008 and lasted nearly three days, left 174 people dead, including nine gunmen. The only surviving attacker, Pakistani Mohammad Ajmal Qasab, is currently on trial in India.

On Wednesday, a court in Pakistan charged seven people in connection with the attacks, including alleged mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi – head of the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The Mumbai gunmen staged co-ordinated attacks at a number of sites, including the CST railway station, two luxury hotels and the Nariman House Jewish community centre.

‘Points of light’

On Thursday, Mumbai’s policemen and commandos marched in a parade and displayed the force’s newly acquired equipment, including amphibious patrol boats and “rapid intervention” vehicles, reports the BBC’s Prachi Pinglay in the city.

The equipment has been purchased under a $26m (£16m) modernisation plan to strengthen resources. The security forces were criticised for their handling of the attacks, and have been using the anniversary to demonstrate their improvements – including the launch of an anti-terrorism commando unit.

Local people have also been lighting candles in front of the Oberoi-Trident hotel and a popular cafe, both of which were targeted during the attack, our correspondent says. “We just wanted to show our support and show that we care,” said Subir Kumar Singh, who left a written message outside the Leopold Cafe.

Ceremonies marking the anniversary began on Wednesday, with groups around the city holding vigils. In southern Mumbai, diplomats and local faith leaders attended a service at a synagogue, where candles were lit for the victims.

Source: BBC

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