Friday, December 19, 2008

Lashkar-e-Taiba commander killed by Indian forces in Kashmir

Press TV reports:

The Indian military says it has killed a senior military commander of banned Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Kashmir region.

The militant commander was identified as Iqbal Malik, the LeT's southern Kashmir commander, the military said in a statement released on Friday.

It added that Malik and two other insurgents were killed earlier in the day as they were trapped in a cave during an exchange of fire in mountainous Doda district, south of Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir.

"Three LeT militants, including senior commander Iqbal Malik, who got holed up in a mountain cave were killed after a fierce eight-hour-long encounter today," Reuters quoted an unnamed army spokesman as saying.

The spokesman added that an Indian soldier was also killed during the gunbattle at the cave.

New Delhi blames LeT for the November 26-29 terror attacks on Mumbai. The attacks on India's financial hub left over 160 people killed and hundreds of others wounded.

The terror attacks intensified tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, who have fought two wars over Kashmir, which both have claims on.

The disputed region had witnessed a significant lull in violence after New Delhi and Islamabad commenced peace negotiations in 2004. The Mumbai attacks, however, unleashed a new wave of violence, bringing the two sodes on the brink of another war.

According to official figures the fight against Indian rule in Kashmir has taken more than 47,000 lives since 1989. Separatists, nonetheless, put the toll at 100,000.