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India claims killing two LeT men near Delhi

January 26, 2009

NEW DELHI, Jan 25: Anti-terror police killed two suspected members of Lashkar-e-Taiba near the Indian capital on Sunday and said they might be linked with the gunmen in Mumbai and were planning to attack the Republic Day military parade here on Monday.

United News of India said the potentially major plot was blown up when the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh police gunned down the two alleged LeT militants in an encounter in the early hours in Noida.

The men were on their way to New Delhi when police intercepted them at the Expressway, Uttar Pradesh State Additional Director General of Police (ATS) Brijlal said in Lucknow.

UNI said the suspected militants might have been of the module that attacked Mumbai on November 26.

“It once again underscored the persisting threat and the fact that there are individuals, there are organisations, which are targeting India and they are based in Pakistan,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said here.

The incident was a matter of grave concern, Mr Sharma said, adding that the government was trying to persuade Pakistan to honour commitments to dismantle terror outfits and their infrastructure there.

“That’s what we have been impressing upon the government there (Pakistan) to honour their commitments, to take effective actions, demonstrate actions to dismantle the infrastructure of these outfits, which have been targeting India and to neutralise the individuals,” he told Times Now news channel.

Meanwhile, Indian President Pratibha Patil obliquely urged Pakistan to accept its responsibility in the fight against terrorism.

In a televised address, to mark 60 years of the republic, she said: “As a responsible nation, the conduct of our foreign relations since independence has been to promote peace and development. We are, however, located in a region which harbours the epicentre of terrorism.”

India had been a victim of terrorism over the last two decades. “The international community must take decisive and united action against terrorism, which poses a grave threat to the stability of the world. No country can afford to take an ambivalent attitude in this fight. Arguments that terrorism is being perpetuated by independent actors are self-defeating and cannot be accepted. Countries must own up their responsibilities as must the international community in defeating terrorism,” she said.