The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani fires Mufti missile at Pak

Oct. 17: Deputy Prime Minister and Union home minister L.K. Advani said the attack on the residence of the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister this morning was carried out by a front of the Pakistan-backed Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Al-Mansooriyan, a little-known organisation, has claimed responsibility for the strike.

“This morning’s attack proves my point that cross-border terrorism has not ended and it shows that the attitude of our neighbour has not changed. It is an act of frustration,” Advani said.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, during the attack said the militants wanted to damage the peace process. However, an official accompanying the chief minister said the militants did not intend to attack the residence of the chief minister but security forces near it.

Mufti echoed the view that Pakistan was supporting the militants. “Those coming from Pakistan are not able to digest peace in the state, hence they resort to such activities.”

The militants were also getting more desperate in the absence of local support.

The assessment in the security establishment here is that the attack is of a pattern that has been established over the past few weeks. They would not compare it in magnitude with the attack on Parliament or the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly year before last.

However, they said, interpreting the claim made by al-Mansooriyan that it had attacked the “puppet chief minister”, Mufti “had been identified by terrorists as a primary target”.

Sources accompanying the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said it “would not be correct to say that the militants had mounted an assassination attempt”. “They would have known the chief minister was not going to be in Srinagar but in Aligarh,” a source said. The chief minister’s daughter and People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti was in the house.

Defence sources said the army has not been involved in directly taking on the militants who were comparatively lightly armed. The army had put up an outer cordon around the shopping complex where the militants took refuge after they were intercepted. The actual operation was being carried out by a battalion of the Border Security Force.

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