CLEAN-UP STARTS

MUMBAI - Mopping up of the streets where Islamist gunmen rampaged and killed nearly 200 people over three days began yesterday, while Indian anger over the attack's alleged Pakistani links threatened the nuclear rivals' ties.

MUMBAI - Mopping up of the streets where Islamist gunmen rampaged and killed nearly 200 people over three days began yesterday, while Indian anger over the attack's alleged Pakistani links threatened the nuclear rivals' ties.

Anger at the intelligence failure and delayed response to the attacks in India's financial capital prompted federal home minister Shivraj Patil to resign.

Indian officials have said most, perhaps all, of the 10 Islamist attackers came from Pakistan.

India said yesterday it had proof of a Pakistani link to the attacks, raising the prospect of a breakdown of peace efforts going on since 2004.

"We will increase security and strengthen it at a war level like we've never done before," Sriprakash Jaiswal, India's minister of home affairs, said.

Pakistan has also said it would move troops from its western border with Afghanistan to the Indian border if tension escalated.

An official in Islamabad said the next two days would be crucial for the neighbours' relations.

Pakistan has condemned the assaults and denied any involvement by state agencies.

Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday phoned opposition politicians to brief them on the crisis and garner support.

"These political leaders assured the prime minister of their full support and cooperation," Gilani's office said.

Yesterday morning the smell of disinfectant was strong outside Cafe Leopold, and the sidewalk wet from mopping - a different sight from Wednesday, when blood-splattered shoes and napkins lay strewn among broken furniture and glass.

"We are opening today. I'm waiting for my work force to turn up. We've cleaned up," said Farhang Jehani, who owns and runs the cafe.

Elite Black Cat commandos killed the last of the gunmen on Saturday after battles inside the Taj Mahal. - Reuters

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