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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 07:07 GMT
'Top militant killed' in Kashmir
Map showing Pakistan- and Indian-administered Kashmir
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir say security forces have killed a top militant involved in a series of explosions across the country.

Bashir Ahmad, also known as Sabha, was wanted by the police in connection with blasts in Kashmir and northern Uttar Pradesh state, police say.

Ahmad was the top commander of the pro-Pakistani Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (Huji) militant group, police said.

Violence in Kashmir has decreased amid India-Pakistan peace moves.

Militants are still fighting to end India's rule in the portion of Kashmir it controls.

Senior police official Farooq Khan told the BBC that Ahmad was the "mastermind of blasts in courts in three cities" in Uttar Pradesh in November last year.

The three near-simultaneous bomb blasts within five minutes of each other, near or outside local courts, killed 13 people.

Mr Khan said Ahmad was killed when he tried to escape the security forces after his hideout in the remote mountainous area of Doolgam was raided late on Thursday night.

The police said that he was trained in militant camps in Pakistan. He was arrested in 2001, and released the next year.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since 1989 when an armed insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir began.

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