Home Guard killed in suspected terror attack (Lead)

May 18th, 2009 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 18 (IANS) In a suspected terror attack, a home guard was killed and a policeman injured Monday when unidentified men opened fire here, police said.
Two unidentified men opened fire at the security men posted at a picket in Faluknama area of the old city of Hyderabad.

Quoting eye witnesses, police said the two men came on a motorbike around 4.30 p.m and opened fire. The attackers escaped after the shooting.

The policemen were rushed to Osmania General Hospital where home guard Balaswamy was declared dead. The 26-year-old had been hit in the head by a bullet. Police constable Rajender Prasad was stated to be in critical condition.

Immediately after the attack, police sounded a high alert in the city and began checking vehicles and frisking of suspects in different areas.

The attack took place on the day that marks the second anniversary of the bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid.

Nine people were killed in the blast during Friday prayers at the mosque May 18, 2007. Five people were killed in the subsequent police firing on a mob outside the mosque.

Hyderabad police commissioner B. Prasada Rao told reporters that the attackers opened fire from a pistol.

“We will not be able to say anything unless we complete the investigations,” he said when asked if the attack was related to the mosque blast.

However, some police officials suspect it to be the handiwork of suspected terrorists to target policemen.

In a similar attack Dec 3 last year, two policemen were injured. The incident had taken place when a suspected extremist opened fire while the policeman were trying to arrest Viqaruddin, a former activist of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

One of the two men accompanying Viqaruddin had opened fire at the policemen. Viqaruddin, who was wanted in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast case, is still at large.

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