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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Kashmiris protest at US strikes
Kashmir student demo
Students joined in the demonstrations against the US
Protests have broken out in the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir against the US-led military strikes on Afghanistan.

Angry students threw stones at vehicles and chanted anti-American slogans in Srinagar.

Soldier in Srinagar
Security has been beefed up
Large parts of the city shut down as hundreds of students held a demonstration on the Kashmir University campus.

They carried banners which said "Islam teaches peace but not surrender", and "Afghan warriors, we are with you".

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says the protests were spontaneous but there have no major incidents of violence.

US condemned

A senior Kashmiri separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has condemned the attacks on Afghanistan.

He said the US strikes were as much an act of terrorism as the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The United States should have given the Taleban whatever evidence it possessed against Osama Bin Laden and that Bin Laden should have been given the chance to defend himself.

He also said that Pakistan was forced to back the US because of "strong compulsions".

But the leader of a militant women's organisation, Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Faith), denounced Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for supporting the Americans.

The leader, Aasiya Andrabi, said General Musharraf's offer to allow his country's air space and intelligence to be used placed a question mark on the very ideological basis of Pakistan.

Security

The Indian Government has stepped up security across the country following the strikes and placed its armed forces on high alert.

"We are prepared for every contingency... whenever you are caught off guard, nasty things happen," Indian Air Force chief AY Tipnis said.

"There are various contingencies in place. We have our combat evaluation plans in place."

Reports say Indian warships were ready to head out to sea in the western city of Bombay, which is a major naval base.

India said it supported the action against Afghanistan expressing its "strong solidarity" for the US.

"We have right from the beginning committed our support to any action that the international coalition against terrorism takes to neutralise the Al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden and their supporters in Afghanistan," junior foreign minister Omar Abdullah said.

Security has also been stepped up outside all American installations in the country.

Neighbouring Bangladesh has also deployed additional security forces outside the US embassy in Dhaka and government buildings.

See also:

07 Oct 01 | Americas
US tightens security
08 Oct 01 | Americas
US balancing act
07 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden broadcasts his defiance
20 Sep 01 | Americas
The trail to Bin Laden
19 Sep 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Who are the Taleban?
05 Oct 01 | Americas
The investigation and the evidence
03 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Pakistan
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