Two terrorists killed in Delhi, two escape, one held (Third Lead)

September 19th, 2008 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Two suspected terrorists were killed and one was arrested while two managed to escape as gunshots silenced the bustle of a congested Muslim majority locality in south Delhi Friday, six days after serial blasts struck the city’s busiest markets. Loudspeakers from a mosque in Jamia Nagar locality near the Jamia Milia University appealed for peace as restive crowds roamed the area even hours after the gun battle ended — it had started at about 10.30 a.m. and went on for about 90 minutes during which the suspected terrorists were holed up inside a fourth floor apartment.

A huge cache of weapons was recovered from the house and two Delhi Police personnel were hurt, police said.

Of the two terrorists shot dead, one has been identified as Atif. The man arrested has been identified as Saif, a police official disclosed.

Police, helped by commandos of the elite National Security Guard (NSG), surrounded the house L-18 in the rabbit warren of the Jamia Nagar neighbourhood after a tip off following a reported confession by a leading militant arrested after the July 26 Ahmedabad bombings.

Said Karnail Singh, joint commissioner, Special Cell: “There were a total of five people at L-18. Two have been shot dead, one has been arrested while two have managed to escape.”

There was tension in the narrow bylanes with shops downing shutters and more than 5,000 police personnel being deployed. Classes in the Jamia Milia University were suspended for the day as news of the shootout spread.

Angry residents were out on the streets shouting slogans against the police and alleging that the bodies had been planted in the apartment for the “fake encounter”.

The media also came in for flak after some channels allegedly wrongly reported that the terrorists were hiding in the mosque.

According to a resident, Shahid, the police had started making the rounds of the area in the morning. “They held some people and started inquiring about these people, to identify if they are the same as suspected people.”

“Once the police was clear about the identity, they sealed the area. The area is very congested and police had to be very careful about security of the people there,” added another bystander.

Said an eyewitness and resident of the area, Maseer Alam: “There was firing for the last two hours. I saw two people being shot but their faces were covered soon after.”

Rashid, one of the earliest ones to be present during the shootout, said: “We heard firing noise from both the sides (police and terrorists). We were kept at quite a distance from the site. The police had surrounded and sealed the whole area.”

The Sep 13 serial blasts in Delhi killed 24 people and injured over 100.

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