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Signatures of Lashkar-e-Toiba seen in Srinagar attack: CRPF

Initial probe suggests militants belonged to LeT group,which has a history of targeting civilians and the military in India.

Written by PTI | Srinagar | Published: March 14, 2013 2:40:43 pm

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) believes there are signature signs of the Lashkar-e-Toiba being involved in the attack outside a public school in Srinagar in which five jawans and two militants were killed.

Director General of CRPF Pranay Sahay said although the identity of the slain militants is yet to be established,the attack bore the signature of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit “What we have been able to make out from the pattern of this thing,reportedly they could be from the LeT group,” he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Initial investigations suggested the militants belonged to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba group,which has a history of targeting civilians and the military in India.

Police said the gunmen approached the camp by mingling with children playing cricket in a nearby field,hiding their weapons in cricket kit they were carrying. Once at the camp,they shot a sentry dead and then fired indiscriminately into the base.

“The police and the CRPF and the other agencies,which are deployed on the ground are trained to tackle all situations. It’s just that on certain occasions that we get caught when there is an element of surprise,” said Ashok Prasad,director general of Jammu and Kashmir police.

“As you can see,the incident did not take 15 minutes to neutralize and they came in the guise of civilians working,they came in the guise of boys playing cricket and they took advantage of the peace which was here in order to destabilize the situation that was here,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday,the uneasy calm in Srinagar was shattered when four Fidayeen attackers crashed into a CRPF camp on the outskirts of the city,chucking bombs and spraying bullets on CRPF men,killing five of them. Two of the terrorists were killed in the gunbattle in Bemina near,while the other two escaped. Police said 18 others,including security personnel and civilians,were injured.

The four terrorists,around 23-24 years old,dressed in sports gear and carrying what appeared to be cricket kits,pulled out AK-47s,hand grenades and other ammunition just outside the Police Public School ground,near the CRPF camp,said police sources.

They mingled with the boys in the ground before attacking CRPF jawans. The attack comes in the wake of a month long violent protests and clashes in the Valley against the hanging of Afzal Guru,sentenced to death for the 2002 Parliament attack.

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