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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Delhi police kill two 'militants'
Red Fort
One of the men was a suspect in the Red Fort attack
Police in the Indian capital, Delhi, have shot dead two suspected Pakistan-based militants in a busy city district.

They said the two rebels were members of the Kashmiri separatist group, Lashkar-e-Toiba.

A senior police official told the Reuters news agency that the men were planning to target senior politicians and industrial targets.


Their motive was to assassinate VIPs and carry out blasts in industrial areas and other areas of economic importance

Ashok Chand, deputy police commissioner
One of the men is suspected of involvement in the attack on Delhi's historic Red Fort a year and a half ago.

The suspects were killed in a shoot-out late on Thursday night in the Hazrat Nizamuddin district in Delhi, just outside a 16th Century tomb dedicated to the Mughal emperor, Humayun.

Humayun's Tomb, a majestic sandstone monument, is a major tourist attraction, closely resembling the Taj Mahal.

Since the shoot-out, security has been tightened across the Indian capital.

Shoot-out

The police first arrested three men, who they said were members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, at the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. They were allegedly due to hand over a consignment of arms and explosives to the dead militants.

The police then tried to ambush the two men, who they said opened fire, sparking the gunfight.

Police guard outside a government building
Security has been stepped up after the incident
Police said that one of the dead men, Abu Bilal, was a suspect in an attack on the 17th Century Red Fort in December 2000.

The other dead man was identified as Abu Zabiullah. Both men are said to be Pakistanis.

"We are trying to confirm whether the three militants in our custody are also Pakistani nationals or Kashmiris," assistant police commissioner Rajbir Singh said.

Red Fort attack

In December 2000, two militants entered the Red Fort and attacked an army supply depot there, killing two soldiers and one guard.

The attackers later escaped.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba later said it had carried out attack.

On Friday, a senior Delhi police official told Reuters that the militants had been planning a series of attacks.

"Their motive was to assassinate VIPs and carry out blasts in industrial areas and other areas of economic importance," deputy police commissioner Ashok Chand said.

See also:

23 Dec 00 | South Asia
Police hunt Red Fort raiders
16 Dec 01 | South Asia
India names attack 'ringleader'
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