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One killed as terror suspects target police picket in Andhra

Two suspected terrorists,allegedly belonging to a hitherto unknown outfit ‘Tehrik-e-galba-Islam’,opened fire at a police picket....

Two suspected terrorists,allegedly belonging to a hitherto unknown outfit ‘Tehrik-e-galba-Islam’,opened fire at a police picket killing a homeguard in Falaknama ‘basti’ area here on Monday evening. Constable T Rajendra was seriously injured in the attack by the assailants who came on a motorcycle and opened fire with pistols.

Monday was the second anniversary of the Mecca Masjid blast in which nine persons were killed on May 18,2007,and another five were killed when police opened fire to control an angry mob that gathered outside the mosque.

Police Commissioner B Prasada Rao said Constable Rajendra and homeguard G Swamy were posted at the unofficial picket beside a bus stand in the ‘basti’ area of Falaknama. “It appears to be the handiwork of terrorists belonging to this group. We have not heard of it before. But they dropped a pamphlet at the spot which says that the attack was to avenge the police firing outside the Mecca Masjid mosque after the May 18,2007 blast,” Rao said.

Security was beefed up in the old city area in view of the blast anniversary and the constable and homeguard were stationed at the bus stand. Police said around 4:30 pm,two youths on a motorcycle approached them and opened fire at close range. Homeguard Swamy went down in a hail of bullets while Constable Rajendra was seriously injured. He is battling for life at the Osmania General Hospital.

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Officers said it could be a revenge attack on the anniversary of the mosque blast as police failed to crack the case. However,there is anger in the Muslim community as several youths were illegally kept in custody and tortured by police after the blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat House on August 25,2007.

Police officers said based on intelligence reports that disgruntled youths were being brainwashed and indoctrinated,a watch was being kept in several sensitive areas.

A manhunt has been launched to nab the alleged terrorists.

First published on: 19-05-2009 at 01:32:24 am
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