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Fifth Death From Attack in India

January 31, 2002

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CALCUTTA, India (AP) _ A fifth Indian policemen died Thursday of injuries received when motorcycle-riding gunmen attacked the U.S. cultural center in Calcutta last week.

Four policemen had died during the Jan. 22 attack at the American Center. Ashraj Ali, a 28-year-old policeman, died Thursday after undergoing two operations at Seth Sukhlal Karnani Hospital, said the medical superintendent, Dr. D. D. Chatterjeee.

Sixteen officers, a passer-by and a contract security guard were injured in the attack. Only four of the wounded officers have been released from the hospital, Chatterjeee said.

Indian police say they have arrested six people, including three Bangladeshis, and killed two Pakistanis whom they accuse of being part of a plot to carry out the attack.

The attack happened during a morning police shift change when many officers were milling around, and long before employees of the center were to arrive for work. U.S. officials have suggested the attack appeared to be aimed at Indian police.

Indian officials say a criminal gang and Islamic militants fighting in India’s portion of Kashmir, and Pakistan’s spy agency were behind the attack, but have provided no proof.

Pakistan’s government has denied any role.

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