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Akshardham attack plotted in Riyadh: Witness

Akshardham attack plotted in Riyadh: Witness

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: July 15, 2005
URL: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1432063,0008.htm

A key witness in the Akshardham temple terrorist attack case on Friday claimed that several religious leaders and heads of terrorist groups from Hyderabad and Ahmedabad met in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia in 2002 to conspire and avenge the killing of Muslims during the post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat.

The name of the witness cannot be revealed due to a gag order issued by the special POTA court, prosecution sources said on Friday night.

Trial in the sensational attack case, in which 31 people, including four security persons, were killed and over 80 injured began on Thursday in-camera inside the Sabarmati Central Jail.

The witness told the court that religious heads from Hyderabad and Ahmedabad had converged at Riyadh and also took CDs of the riots that occurred in parts of Gujarat, sources said.

He informed the court that large amount of money was also collected from Riyadh for procuring material required to execute the attacks, including the well-planned one on the Akshardham temple.

The witness, a native of Gujarat and who claims that he was also "present" at the meeting, added that after the meeting some of those who had gone from India returned and visited Ahmedabad and Hyderabad to make further plans for the attack.

However, the execution of Akshardham temple attack was given to two Pakistani terrorists who were eventually gunned down by the National Security Guards after a nightlong gun battle on September 24, 2002.

Apart from the Akshardham attack four city transport buses were also targeted and bombs were planted which left some injured but no life was lost.

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