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Sunday, 21 January, 2001, 15:40 GMT
Six killed in Kashmir blast
Relatives
Grieving relatives of one of the bus victims
Six people have been killed and 30 wounded in a landmine blast in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The authorities in the territory say the explosion hit a government-owned bus carrying Indian soldiers and civilians near Pattan, about 30km north of the capital, Srinagar.

Violence elsewhere in the territory has also claimed at least half dozen lives.

The latest attacks come as the deadline for the expiry of a unilateral ceasefire by Indian forces approaches.

Attackers not known

Those killed on the bus included four civilians as well as two soldiers.

Wreath
Four soldiers were killed in the airport attack
Ten of the injured were also soldiers.

No group has admitted responsibility for the blast - although several militant organisations vowed to carry on attacks despite the Indian ceasefire.

In another incident, six militants were killed in a gun battle with security forces on the outskirts of the winter capital, Jammu.

Five security force personnel were wounded.

The militants were reported to have crossed over from Pakistani territory.

Earlier, police said militants had set off an explosion outside the office of Kashmir's ruling National Conference Party in Jammu, injuring six people.

On-going violence

A grenade blast killed two civilians at a market in Pulwama, south of Srinagar.

Three policemen were also injured.

Last week, six militants from the Lashkar-e-Toyeba group staged a daring raid on the airport in Srinagar.

They were killed in the ensuing gun battle, which also left four security personnel and two civilians dead.

Talks deadlock

Both India and Pakistan have taken steps to reduce tension on the frontline in Kashmir - but efforts to end separatist violence have stalled.

The main political alliance of separatists in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) wants to travel to Pakistan for talks.

But their planned mission has yet to materialise because of an argument with the Indian Government about who should go.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the alliance said that hardliners in the Indian Government were out to sabotage the peace initiative by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

He said recent remarks by Home Minister LK Advani could create a dangerous situation and extinguish hopes for peace in Kashmir.

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See also:

12 Jan 01 | South Asia
Delhi 'to decide Kashmir peace visit'
16 Jan 01 | South Asia
Attack on Kashmir airport
05 Jan 01 | South Asia
Delhi Kashmir move hailed
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