//Lashkar-e-Qahab owns up Varanasi blasts

Lashkar-e-Qahab owns up Varanasi blasts

Press Trust of India, Srinagar, March 9, 2006

A hitherto unknown terror outfit Lashkar-e-Qahab on Thursday claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s twin blasts in Varanasi in which 28 people were killed and over 50 injured.

A caller introducing himself as Abu Feroz, a spokesman of the outfit, contacted a private TV channel in Srinagar claiming responsibility for the blasts.

He also threatened similar attacks in other cities unless the government stopped its "catch and kill" campaign in Jammu and Kashmir.

A staff of the TV channel said that Feroz spoke in Urdu with a heavy Punjabi accent.

Police said they had heard the name of the terror outfit for the first time and that it could be an offshoot of some other terror outfit active in the state.

SSP Srinagar Muneer Ahmed Khan said they could not say with authority that the outfit was an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"We will sift through the records to see if there is any link," Khan added.