David Miliband has suggested he is taking extremely seriously reports that British gunmen may have been involved in the Mumbai attacks, saying that the security services are investigating "intensively" any possible links.By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 3:59PM GMT 28 Nov 2008
The Foreign Secretary aid British detectives, who have already travelled to India, will work with their Indian counterparts to shed light on the source of the plot.
"We obviously will want to work very, very closely with the Indians on that, but it is too early to say whether or not any of them are British," he told Sky News television.
"Obviously, the priority of the Indian authorities is to complete this operation. They can then start identifying who are the terrorists, what is their background."
"If any of them are alive, they can be debriefed and questioned. We obviously will want to work with them very closely on that."
Earlier, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said she had received no information suggesting two British men had been part of a group of eight militants captured by Indian commandos.
"We will do anything we can to help Indian authorities through what is obviously a very difficult time," Miss Smith said. "We will do what is necessary. At the moment the priority is to support the immediate needs.
Vilasrao Deshmukh, the chief minister of Mumbai, was earlier reported to have said that two British-born Pakistanis were among eight gunmen seized by Indian commandos who stormed buildings to free hostages.
NDTV, a local television news channel, claimed that the terrorists – who swarmed into luxury hotels and other tourist sites in the city – included "British citizens of Pakistani origin".
A group calling itself Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, blamed "external forces" for the violence - a phrase sometimes used to refer to Pakistani militants, whom Indian authorities often blame for attacks."
Pranab Mukherjee, the country's foreign minister, was more explicit. "According to preliminary information, some elements in Pakistan are responsible," he said
Mumbai attack: Government 'intensively' investigating British links
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom