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Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 11:53 GMT
Kashmir militants' funeral turns violent
Graves
Local volunteers dug graves for the dead militants
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have fired shots and used batons to disperse thousands of protesters at the funeral of six men who attacked Srinagar airport on Tuesday.

The militants were killed by Indian special forces when they tried to storm the civilian airport.

Six other people died in the gun battle including four security personnel and two civilians.

Some 8,000 people turned up near the airport on Wednesday morning to receive the bodies of the six militants.

Wreath
A ceremony was held at the airport for the soldiers
They staged a sit-in on the main road chanting pro-separatist and pro-Pakistan slogans.

A number of people were injured as police broke up the protest, including some members of the main separatist alliance, the Hurriyat Conference, who had earlier addressed the mourners.

A spokesman for the Hurriyat says four activists of the alliance have been arrested.

Suicide raid

The six militants who attempted to storm the airport belonged to the Lashkar-e-Toyeba group.


We had specific information that the militant group would be indulging in a suicide attack

Police chief AK Suri
They drove up to the gate of the airport in a government vehicle and attacked the main security post - which lies some distance from the main terminal.

The driver of the vehicle is now being questioned.

Senior police officials said they had prior intelligence of such a raid being carried out.

"We had specific information that the militant group would be indulging in a suicide attack," Kashmir police chief AK Suri said.

The Lashkar-e-Toyeba militant group said its activists had carried out the attack.

On Wednesday morning, at a special ceremony near the airport senior officers laid wreaths on the bodies of the four soldiers who died.

In a separate incident, two members of a police anti-insurgency unit have been injured in a gun battle with militants near the northern town of Pattan.

Reports quoting local residents say the police torched four houses and half a dozen shops in retaliation after militants fired on them.

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See also:

08 Jan 01 | South Asia
Security stepped up at Kashmir airport
16 Jan 01 | South Asia
Attack on Kashmir airport
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