LeT men among six killed in Kashmir

3 April 2009
The Dawn

Srinagar: Five militants and a civilian were killed in fresh violence in Kashmir as senior Indian officials arrived in the violence-hit region to review security ahead of elections, police said on Friday. The militants died in gunbattles with the army in the southern district of Kishtiwar and in Kupwara in the north, closer to the Line of Control. 'Three of the slain militants were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba,' a police spokesman said, referring to the outfit India blames for the deadly November attacks in Mumbai that left 165 people dead. Lashkar has denied any role in those attacks. Police said suspected militants shot dead a civilian in southern Rajouri district on Thursday.The new violence erupted as India's Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh arrived in Srinagar to review the region's security ahead of the general elections due to begin on April 16 and be held in stages to May 13. 'The two held meetings with senior army and civilian officials, including the chief minister,' the police spokesman said. Elections to occupied Kashmir's six parliamentary constituencies will be held in five phases to allow the Indian troops time to move from one place to another. Security concerns have grown since a series of running gunbattles last month along the border left eight soldiers and 17 militants dead. Lashkar said afterwards its members were involved in the fighting along the Line of Control. The clashes were some of the fiercest in recent years and were followed by warnings from Lashkar of fresh attacks against Indian troops. Kashmir has been in the grip of a deadly movement since 1989 that has left over 47,000 people dead by official count. AFP