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Andhra shrine ‘bomber’ shot

Hyderabad, Nov. 24: Andhra Pradesh police have gunned down Mohammed Imran alias Syed Amir, a Laskhar-e-Toiba activist and key suspect in the attack on the Sai Baba temple in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Imran was killed by Special Task Force personnel patrolling the highway near Karimnagar after a tip-off that he was hiding in a nearby village. The Lashkar activist left Regurti village in the wee hours today on a bicycle and was stopped on the highway. Imran fired at the police party and tried to flee but was shot.

Police have recovered a pistol, an empty magazine and a Saudi passport from him.

Yesterday, Lashkar militant Mohammad Azam, who confessed to his and Imran’s involvement in the blast at the temple, was shot when he attacked policemen in Rangareddy district. The two were the main suspects in the blast, which left one dead and 21 injured, according to director general of police P. Ramulu.

“Imran was absconding from his old city residence since the blast and was spotted in Karimnagar last night. The militant, who was on a bicycle, panicked and started running when a police patrol stopped him at Regurti,” Ramulu said.

“When the police chased him, Imran turned and opened fire and was killed in the retaliatory hail of bullets,” he added.

The DGP said the police had been monitoring the activities of Azam and Imran for some time. “We have information about their regular visits to Saudi Arabia and parts of south India,” he said.

Azam had met the Lashkar brass in Riyadh recently and taken fresh orders to create tension in Hyderabad. He had also met Abdul Bari, the Lashkar chief who operates from Saudi Arabia. Imran was one of the four top agents of the Lashkar and controlled the activities of the organisation in south India.

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