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Indian Police Search for Suspected Militants

Police in India's capital, New Delhi, have launched a massive search for two suspected Islamic militants who escaped during a gunbattle Friday.

A New Delhi police spokesman said Sunday that authorities are searching for the two suspects and seven others in connection with last week's deadly serial bombings in the capital.

During Friday's gunbattle in a Muslim neighborhood of the capital, police say they killed Atif, a top leader in the Islamist militant group, Indian Mujahideen.  The group claimed responsibility for last Saturday's blasts that killed at least 22 people in busy markets throughout New Delhi. 

Police say Indian Mujahideen is an off-shoot of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.  During a news conference today, police official Karnal Singh said Pakistan-based extremist group Laskher-e-Taiba is providing full support to Indian Mujahideen and the students movement.  He also said the suspects were inspired by al-Qaida.

Friday's clash took place when police raided a home, acting on a tip.  One suspect was arrested, and a top police officer was killed in the gunbattle.  Hundreds of people attended the funeral for police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma today.

Indian Mujahideen says it also was responsible for blasts in July that killed at least 45 people in western Gujarat state.

On Thursday, India's government announced new anti-terror measures -- including the creation of a new counter-terrorism center, the deployment of more police personnel, and the installation of closed-circuit television cameras in crowded places.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

 

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