Islamic Militants Kill Eight in Kashmir

Police acting on a tip about grenade attacks that killed nine tourists in Indian Kashmir fatally shot a gunman Wednesday during a raid on a hide-out of a militant group that was also suspected in deadly attacks on Mumbai's transit system, an official said.

Separately, suspected Islamic militants attacked a bus and an army patrol in Indian Kashmir on Wednesday, wounding eight people, including two tourists, police said.

Police said the dead gunman was a member of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant group. India has accused the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba of being behind a string of deadly attacks in India.

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The group, one of nearly a dozen Islamic rebel groups operating in Kashmir, seeks Muslim-majority Kashmir's merger with mostly Islamic Pakistan.

New Delhi charges the groups are trained, armed and funded by Islamabad. Pakistan insists it only offers the rebels diplomatic and moral support.

Indian forces got the information for the raid after making an arrest following a series of grenade attacks that killed nine Indian tourists on Tuesday in Srinagar, the main city of Indian Kashmir, said H.K. Lohia, deputy inspector-general of police.

In a shootout, police killed the militant, identified as Qari Anas, in Dialgam, a village 45 miles south of Srinagar, he said. A policeman was wounded, he said.

However, Lohia noted that Anas was not directly involved in the grenade attacks.

Tuesday's grenade attacks came just hours before a series of eight bombs hit Mumbai's train network, killing at least 200 people and wounding hundreds.

However, a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba spokesman, Abdullah Ghaznavi, denied any involvement by the group in either attack.

"Indian security forces blame the Lashkar in an attempt to defame the Kashmir freedom struggle," he said in a statement distributed in Srinagar.

The separatists have been fighting India since 1989. More than 66,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

One of Wednesday's grenade attacks took place in Gulmarg, 28 miles north of Srinagar. Assailants threw a grenade at a bus, wounding five people including two Indian tourists from New Delhi, said local police chief Viplav Kumar. One of them was in serious condition.

Earlier, a grenade was thrown at an army patrol in the nearby town of Sopore, critically wounding three soldiers, Kumar said.