Lashkar-e-Taiba claims Kashmir hotel attack: report
SRINAGAR: The banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has claimed responsibility for an attack outside a popular hotel in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed a bellboy, the Urdu language Kashmir Uzma newspaper reported Saturday.
According to the report published in the Urdu language daily, the banned outfit said four of its attackers “lobbed grenades and opened fire” at an Indian army convoy as it passed through the highway where the Silver Star hotel is located.
“Four of our fidayeen (suicide attackers) attacked the army convoy in which one of the army vehicles was badly damaged,” the newspaper quoted LeT spokesman Abdullah Gaznavi as saying over the telephone.
The attackers “reached their hideouts safely”, Gaznavi added.
The report could not be independently verified by Dawn.com, however, there were no conflicting claims either.
Heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Silver Star hotel on Friday after an abortive attempt to attack the army convoy, killing a bellboy and injuring two others, the Indian police said.
Gaznavi, however, blamed “retaliatory firing” by the Indian armed forces for the death of the hotel staff member, the newspaper reported.
The attack, the first in Srinagar since May, occurred on a day when several senior officials from the army, police, intelligence agencies and government met to review the security situation in the state.
In the May attack, two motorcyclists fired on a group of army officers, injuring seven.
The LeT has been blamed by India for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. It has denied any role in the attacks.