Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India




National Capital Region--Delhi

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11 killed in attack on Parliament

New Delhi, December 13
In the most daring attack ever launched against the Indian state, at least half a dozen armed men stormed into the Parliament House complex today and opened indiscriminate firing, injuring an unspecified number of persons.

The firing started around 11.40 a.m. soon after the Houses of the Parliament were adjourned for the day on the Kargil Coffin issue.

Many MPs, mediapersons and Parliament staff were inside the complex when the firing started, setting off a panic in the complex.

Six terrorists, armed with AK-47 rifles and explosives, set off massive blasts, followed by heavy exchange of fire with police and security forces.

According to reports, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel tried to stop the suspected Afghan-based terrorists as they approached the Parliament in uniform in a government official car, and they reacted by firing indiscriminately.

The heavily-armed terrorists wore commando uniforms and breached security. Security has been beefed up in Delhi. Black cat commandoes and Delhi police commandoes have been deployed in strength in and around the complex. A red alert has also been sounded and all high rise buildings have been put under police surveillance.

Parliament Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said four of the six terrorists had been killed and the hunt was on for the remaining two. Unconfirmed reports said five of the armed men were killed in the intense cross-firing with security forces. Doctors at a nearby hospital said at least five guards and a worker were killed and 16 people seriously injured. Reports said the firing had ceased now.

Over 200 MPs were inside the premises at the time of the attack. The Army was called in after the incident. Defence Minister George Fernandes said the terrorists tried to lob hand-grenades into the Parliament building, but were not successful. Both Fernandes and Law Minister Arun Jaitley confirmed that while terrorists had in fact penetrated the compound, they had failed to enter the main building.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has spoken to President K R Narayanan and apprised him of the shoot out by terrorists in Parliament House. Parliament Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan has taken in charge of the security of the MPs still inside the Parliament building.Back

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