SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Indian soldiers killed a relative of a top Pakistan-based militant in a gunbattle in southern Kashmir, police said on Tuesday, increasing the pressure on the leader whom it wants placed on an international blacklist.
India, backed by the United States, has been trying to get Maulana Masood Azhar on a U.N. list of groups and individuals with ties to al Qaeda, blaming his group for a series of attacks in India, including one on its parliament in 2002 and another last year on an airbase.
On Monday, soldiers surrounded a village in Pulwama district and killed Talha Rasheed, a nephew of Azhar, along with two associates in the gunfight, police inspector general Muneer Khan said. They were all members of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group.
India has long accused Pakistan of harboring militant groups and giving them material support to carry out a 28-year armed revolt in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies the allegations and says it is doing more than any other country in fighting militant groups.
Masood has become a thorny issue between India and China which has blocked its repeated requests to sanction him under the UN list of terrorists.
Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari; Writing by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie