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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 11:59 GMT
Kashmiri separatist leader attacked
Mr Lone (left) said he had received death threats
Unidentified gunmen have attacked the residence of a separatist leader in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Abdul Gani Lone, a senior member of the leading Kashmiri separatist alliance, the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, says the attackers fired at his house with assault rifles late on Thursday.

Police guards posted at Mr Lone's residence returned fire and the gunmen apparently fled.

No-one was hurt in the incident which took place in a suburb of the capital, Srinagar.

Mr Lone told journalists on Friday that bullets from the assault rifles hit the wall of his bedroom.

He said he was unable to identify who was behind the attack, but blamed the Indian Government for reducing his security detail.

Differing accounts

The separatist leader alleged that previous attacks on him, including a landmine explosion outside his house, had been carried out by Indian security forces.

But lately, he said some militant leaders based in Pakistan-administered Kashmir had issued death threats to him through the media.

Despite this, his security has been reduced by the government leaving him more vulnerable, Mr Lone said.

A senior police official, however, contradicted Mr Lone's description of the attack, saying there was no evidence that the shots fired on Thursday night were directed at his residence.

He said he suspected the shots were accidentally fired by a soldier deployed in the area, which led to retaliatory fire by Mr Lone's guards who mistook it to be an attack by militants.

See also:

07 Aug 00 | South Asia
Kashmir's orphaned thousands
16 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Kashmir threat to coalition
16 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: India firm over Kashmir
16 Oct 01 | South Asia
India launches Kashmir attack
23 May 01 | South Asia
Q & A: Kashmir dispute
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