Lucknow Encounter: 2 Terror Suspects Holed Up In House, Ops In Final Stages, Say Cops

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Lucknow encounter: The shootout is taking place in Thakurganj, on the outskirts of the city.

Lucknow: 

Highlights

  1. Major anti-terror operation in Lucknow
  2. Armed terror suspects hiding in house on city's outskirts
  3. Police sources talk of ISIS cell, one man arrested in Kanpur
After nearly 12 hours of stand-off, the police say the operation to flush out two terror suspects from the house in Thakurganj on the outskirts of Lucknow, is in its final stages. The police have said there is not one man but two, holed up in the house -- at least one of them is suspected of being involved in the explosion on a train in Madhya Pradesh which injured nine people on Tuesday morning. The  police said the security forces are trying to catch both men alive.

Earlier this evening, the police said the anti-terror commandos managed to have a glimpse of the inside of the house. Senior police officer Daljit Chaudhary said, "We have drilled the roof to see what's happening inside... What we have found is that there are two weapons lying there... We thought initially there was one youth inside, now we have found that there are two and both of them are very much alive." A high alert has been sounded in the state, the state police tweeted.

Sources said the suspects could be heavily armed. The Thakurganj area, which is residential, was cordoned off and at least 20 commandos had been involved in the operation, said police sources.

Two of the suspects of the train blast was arrested in Kanpur and one in Etawah in Uttar Pradesh. Two others are holed up in Lucknow and hunt is on for three more. Three others were caught in Madhya Pradesh, whose government said the arrests in the two states are linked. "Questioning of the arrested suspects is on, could be linked to ISIS," said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Police sources in Uttar Pradesh -- which concludes seven phases of voting tomorrow -- spoke of a local ISIS cell, which is suspected to be behind the train blast. The men, Mr Chaudhary said, were largely radicalised through social media and online literature. The police have found the presence of another group influenced by ISIS in Kanpur.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been briefed about the operation in Lucknow, described by police sources "as very restrained".

Comments
CCTV footage near the place where the explosion took place on a train in Madhya Pradesh helped the police there to identify the suspects. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said the explosion on the train running between Ujjain and Bhopal was a terror attack, as per initial investigation.

The Madhya Pradesh police said that interrogation of the three men it arrested helped with information about the two other men who were allegedly involved in the train blast, and they then shared the information with central agencies as well as the Uttar Pradesh police.

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