After Terror Attack, Indians Rage at Government, Pakistan

Indian officials, accused of ignoring warnings, resign; Pakistan also blamed.

MUMBAI, India, Dec.1, 2008 — -- Mumbai is finally starting to show signs of life; five days after terrorist attacks paralyzed this city and sent shockwaves around the world.

But even as traffic began returning to Mumbai's usually congested streets, the mood of the city today was a mix of grief and anger and survivors have come forward, with harrowing tales.

Officials finished clearing bodies and securing the Taj Mahal hotel, one of the main sites where terrorists held hostages during a 60-hour gun battle with Mumbai police and Indian army commandos.

A Mumbain police spokesperson today told ABC News today the death toll has risen to 188 including nine terrorists. Twenty-nine of the dead were reportedly foreigners, including at least six Americans.

William and Geraldine Stadelmann from Mass. got out of the Taj Mahal hotel alive and told "Good Morning America," they spent hours trapped in their hotel room. "We heard some horrific sounds of what sounded like bombing, so we hit the floor, William said.

The couple e-mailed their family back home trying to get information. Their son "Terry told me your hotel is on fire," but the smoke hadn't gotten to our room yet."

As they prepared to leave there was a heart-stopping knock on their door.

"It maybe the army and it maybe the only way were getting out of here, or it could be the terrorists and we're going to die," William said they thought.

As it turns out it was the army there to rescue them.

Joe and Marilyn Ernsteen were a few floor higher in the Taj and had just turned in for the night. She told "GMA" she woke up hearing explosions and gunshots and then it seemed to go on an on," Marilyn said.

After 12 terrifying hours they decided to make a run for it. "I just wanted to see my kids again, it was just a horrifying experience," Marilyn said fighting back tears.

The one surviving gunman has reportedly told authorities he is a member of a Pakistani group with ties to Kashmir called Lashkar-e-Taiba. For years the group, whose name means "army of the righteous," has been trying to start a war between India and Pakistan over the disputed Himalayan province of Kashmir.

The Pakistan government has denied any role in the attacks and the President said today he is worried that the terror attack will spark a war between the two nuclear capable nations.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for cooperation from both India and Pakistan. "What we are emphasizing to the Pakistani government is the need to follow the evidence wherever it leads," Rice said today in London. "This is a time for complete, absolute, total transparency and cooperation and that's what we expect."

The FBI sent a team to India over the weekend, marking the first time the agency has collaborated with Indian authorities on an investigation.

President Bush asked Rice to cut short her European visit and head to India later this week.

Vilasrao Deshmukh, the top official of the India's Maharashtra state which includes Mumbai, offered to resign today as did his deputy R.R. Patil, who had sparked outrage by referring to the attacks as "small incidents."

On Sunday, two national government officials responsible for homeland security, including Home Minister Shivraj Patil, resigned.

The Indian government has been heavily criticized for failing to stop the attacks and being too slow to respond.

Citizens held a protest against the government outside the Taj Mahal Hotel on Sunday.

Newspaper headlines underlined the frustration felt by many Indians, with one saying, ""Our Politicians Fiddle as Innocents Die." During the protest outside the Taj Mahal Hotel, some demonstrators even carried placards saying they wished the politicians had been killed in the attacks.

Public anger was also fuelled by reports that the Indian government had received warnings earlier this month of an impending terrorist attack in Mumbai, including information from U.S. intelligence sources.

Even before the claim, anger over the coordinated terrorist attacks was exacerbating tensions between the two nations, both nuclear-armed states, as investigators try piece together how so few attackers could have wreaked so much carnage in India's largest city.

Some fault Pakistan, claiming it harbored some of the terrorists, and Indian officials continue to beat the drum about their neighbor's involvement.

Pakistan has been firm in its denial that its government had any connection to the men at the center of the 60-hour siege.

Husain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, told ABC News' "This Week" that while the gunmen may have come from Pakistan, its government had no ties to the assailants.

"That they are harbored by Pakistan is plain wrong," Haqqani said. "The important thing is that the government of Pakistan, the state of Pakistan, the military of Pakistan and even the intelligence services are not directly involved."

Haqqani said the Pakistani government was going the extra mile to let India know "we feel their pain."

"The point we must remember is that we should not see this heinous act in the context of India-Pakistan relations," Haqqani said. "We should see it in the context of international terrorism. There are terrorists that have trained in all countries of the world, secretly. They are non-state actors. I don't think that this is the time for India, or anybody in India to accuse Pakistan. It's time to work with Pakistan."

Haqqani added that Indians should question their own government about whether the Mumbai attack could have been prevented.

"Intelligence failure? I think people have to look closer to home for that," he said.

The War on Terror

The broader intelligence value of the captured suspect, a 21-year-old Pakistani man with a fourth-grade education, remains unclear, but he could bolster arguments from within India that the plot had Pakistani roots.

India hasn't outright blamed Pakistan for what happened, but one official said the government plans to increase security along its border. It remains unclear what that means and so far there have been no reports that it's occurred.

If India posts troops along its border with Pakistan, Haqqani said Pakistan will be forced to do the same.

It could be damaging to the United States if Pakistan turns its attention and troops to India, distracting it from Afghanistan, al Qaeda and the war on terror. Militants recently have gained strength in Pakistan.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan became the focus of jihad central many, many years when they were all fighting the Soviets," Haqqani said. "So these people have roots in some remote parts of our country. They have spread those roots. Some of the efforts in the war on terror have not been successful.

"Our dictator, [former president] Gen. Musharraf did not do the right thing to eliminate the terrorists," he said. "But the new government is making it's effort and our intelligence services are far better prepared.

"Pakistan is a victim of terrorism," Haqqani said. "India is a victim of terrorism. The victims need to get together. Forget about our bitter history."

Candlelight Vigil for Terror Victims

While tensions between India and Pakistan intensify, Mumbai residents banded together for a candlelight vigil just a few blocks from the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident hotels, sites of so much fighting only days ago.

The scene was reminiscent of the days and nights following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York. Banners showed images of the fallen police officers who are now the city's heroes after Mumbai's own 9/11.

Rows of candles flickered on the pavement of Mumbai's famed Marine Drive as hundreds of citizens turned up to pay their respects to victims.

Mumbai residents from all communities came with their families to say prayers and remember the dead. Parents helped their toddlers light candles, friends huddled together, and, as night fell, a pensive mood settled on the city.