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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Militants storm Kashmir army camp
Women weep for family members killed in the attack near Jammu
The victims include wives and children of soldiers
At least 30 people have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir as suspected separatists attacked an army camp.

The dead include women and children as well as the three attackers.

They had AK 47s, they were firing all around, they had hand grenades, they had explosives.

Major General Mohan Pandey
The militants, who were wearing army uniforms, also fired at passengers in a bus they had been travelling on before entering the camp, officials said.

The attack is the bloodiest since nearly 40 people died in a raid on the state assembly in the summer capital Srinagar last October.

It coincides with a visit to Delhi by US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca aimed at cooling tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

Muslim Kashmiri protester thrown stones at Indian police
Muslim feelings over Kashmir run high
Mrs Rocca - who is having talks in Delhi before going on to Pakistan - condemned the latest attack.

"It is precisely this type of barbaric terrorism that the international war on terrorism is determined to stop", she said.

Indian officials have said she will be shown evidence that Pakistan is still backing militant activity.

Gun battle

The gunmen arrived by bus at the army camp at Kaluchak 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Jammu - the state's winter capital - early on Tuesday morning.

Officials said they opened fire indiscriminately and threw grenades, killing seven passengers before storming the camp gate.

"We were asked to get off the bus and as we were getting down they started firing," a passenger told Star News television.

Television pictures of the bus showed shattered windows, holes blown in the side and broken glass on the floor, Reuters news agency reported.

The men then barged into an area of the camp housing family quarters, workshops and canteens.

"They had AK 47s, they were firing all around, they had hand grenades, they had explosives... they wired the houses with the explosives, Major General Mohan Pandey told reporters.

The attackers were eventually cornered and killed during a gun battle with soldiers and police that lasted more than two hours.

The BBC's Binoo Joshi, reporting from Jammu, says it is the first time that an army camp so close to Jammu has been targeted in such a fashion, although there have been a series of similar attacks on camps in other districts.

No organisation has admitted carrying out the attack, but Indian officials suspect Pakistan-based groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

A government minister in Islamabad said Pakistan rejected Indian accusations that it was sponsoring such cross-border attacks.


A senior US defence department official in Washington told reporters on Monday there was a "large risk" of war.

"The governments of India and Pakistan have an enormous interest in bringing tensions down and the risks of war down", said Defence Undersecretary Douglas Feith.

US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca
Rocca is to press US concerns about Kashmir tensions
Both countries still have huge numbers of troops massed along their common border.

They have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947.

There are reports, denied by Indian authorities, that India has put its troops on a heightened state of alert along the disputed line of control in Kashmir and along the border between India and Pakistan.

The BBC's Adam Mynott
"There was a gun battle that lasted two hours"
See also:

14 May 02 | South Asia
US urges calm over Kashmir attack
06 Apr 02 | South Asia
Indian police warn of Kashmir 'plot'
14 May 02 | South Asia
US balancing act over Kashmir
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