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Maya zone map with slain militants

Lucknow, Dec. 23: Two members of a suspected Lashkar fidayeen squad were killed today, leaving behind a map of the area around Mayavati’s residence and a suicide belt.

Police refused to confirm or deny whether the chief minister was a target but the recovery of the map and the belt from the encounter site at Chinhat, 25km away on the Lucknow-Barabanki border, fuelled fears about the possibility.

The special task force involved in the shootout Ś coming a day after the arrest of suspected Huji militants from Barabanki over several recent blasts Ś also found 10 hand grenades, 10 grenade fuses, a detonator, two AK-47 rifles and a battery for the suicide belt.

Additional director-general of police Brijlal said the map carried details of barricading around the chief minister’s residence. “Further investigations will throw more light,” he added.

The identity of the duo was yet to be confirmed but police sources said they were Pakistani nationals.

Brijlal said they had come from Nepal and had been under the surveillance of the special task force.

Amitabh Yash, senior superintendent of the STF, said the militants, chanting “LeT zindabad”, fired around 60 rounds during the shootout. A probe is on to find out if the Lucknow number of their Maruti 800 is fake.

Intelligence agencies recently received information that Mayavati could be a target.

But others questioned the claim that the chief minister could be a target.

“She is not the Narendra Modi of Uttar Pradesh, after all,” said an officer with a central security agency.

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