Varanasi bombings suspect shot in Kashmir

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Tuesday, May 9, 2006 The main suspect in the 7th March bombings in Varanasi, was shot dead by Indian security forces in Handwara area of North Kashmir early this morning. Abu Zubair, an operative of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islamia was gunned down in a joint operation involving Jammu & Kashmir State Police Special Task Force and the Indian Army.

" On specific information, Zubair was killed in a fierce encounter in Handwara " said Nitish Kumar, a police official, adding the man was considered to have played a leading role in the Varanasi attacks. Kumar said Zubair came from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and was attempting to flee to Pakistan.

The twin blasts in the Sankatmochan temple and the Cantonment Railway station of the temple city of Varanasi on March 7, had left close to 20 dead and nearly 100 injured.