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Lashkar-e-Toiba denies involvement in Varanasi blasts

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Srinagar, Mar 12 (UNI) Strongly denying its involvement in last week's twin blasts at Uttar Pradesh's temple town of Varanasi in which about 17 people were killed and more than 100 others wounded, the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) today alleged that the ''Indian security agencies were behind such terror acts''.

The group also said that it had no connection with those arrested in Uttar Pradesh and Goa.

''The blasts in Varanasi were aimed at defaming the jehad in Kashmir. We have no hand in such acts,'' LeT spokesman Abu Huzaifa told the Kashmir News Service (KNS), a local news agency, here.

The spokesman claimed that the blasts and other terror acts at public places in the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, were engineered by the ''Indian secret agencies''.

The denial comes three days after Lashkar-e-Qahar, a hitherto unknown militant outfit, claimed the responsibility of the twin blasts in Varanasi on March 9.

The Current News Service (CNS), a local news agency here, received a call from a person who identified himself as Abdul Jabbar alias Abu Qahar, the spokesman of the outfit, on Thursday morning.

He claimed the responsibility for the twin bomb blasts in Varanasi on March 7. The caller also threatened more such attacks.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had told the state Assembly on March 9 that the government had definite clues about the involvement of gunned down LeT militant, Salar alias Sartaj alias Doctor, behind the Varanasi serial blasts.

Salar was shor dead by the police in an encounter near Gosaiganj area of Lucknow on March 8, a day after the twin blasts at Varanasi.

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