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Indian police report Pakistan link to Kashmir attack

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Police in Indian-administered Kashmir Tuesday said they had arrested four people including a Pakistani member of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) over an attack that killed five policemen.

Abdul Gani Mir, Kashmir's top law enforcement officer, said investigators had concluded that the attack was planned by LeT, a Pakistan-based group blamed for mass killings in Mumbai in 2008.

"The arrested include Zubair alias Talha Zarar of Lashkar-e-Toiba who came from Multan (in Pakistan)," inspector general of police Mir told reporters.

Two heavily armed militants attacked a group of Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the compound of a police-run school last week, killing five of them and injuring 10 others including four civilians.

The Pakistani government rejected what it called "baseless accusations" but said India should officially share any concrete evidence.

"Such allegations and blame game will not benefit any country and will complicate the path of understanding. India should share with us any solid evidence," foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry told AFP.

In a call to local media after the assault, the deadliest attack on security forces in nearly five years, the Indian Kashmir-based but pro-Pakistan militant group Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Mir said the militants had infiltrated from the Pakistani side of the heavily militarised informal border of Kashmir in January and February to "cause disturbance" in Srinagar.

Three others arrested include Pradeep Singh and two "former militants", one of whom, Bashir Ahmad Mir, was released from prison in 2008.

"They provided logistical support for the attack," Mir said at a press conference.

Kashmir is divided between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan, with both claiming the disputed territory in its entirety.

Armed rebels have fought Indian security forces in Kashmir since 1989 for the independence of the region or its merger with Pakistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead so far.

India's home minister had earlier accused Pakistan of sending in the attackers but Pakistan's foreign ministry denied the charge.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130319/indian-police-report-pakistan-link-kashmir-attack-0