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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK
Four killed in Kashmir attack
Indian sadhus or Hindu holy men rest in Nunwan
An attack on Tuesday targeted Hindu pilgrims
Suspected Islamic militants have shot dead four members of a Hindu family in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The victims included a woman and two children, aged two and four.

The attack took place in a remote village in Rajouri district, which is near the fronline dividing the territory with Pakistan.

It comes just days after a major attack in which nine Hindu pilgrims were killed.

Police say the militants forced their way into the victims' residence, and opened fire indiscriminately with automatic weapons.

All four victims were killed instantly.

The attackers are said to have escaped and the security forces have launched an operation to hunt them down.

Attack fears

On Wednesday, the security forces shot dead at least five separatist militants trying to cross into Indian-administered Kashmir from Pakistan.

Two soldiers were also killed in the gun battle, which took place in the Poonch district on the border.

India has said it fears a rise in the infiltration of Pakistani-backed militants from across the Line of Control in the run up to the state assembly elections in Indian-administered Kashmir, which start next month.

On Tuesday, nine Hindu pilgrims were killed in attack by suspected Islamic militants.

Another 37 people were injured in the attack, when gunmen opened fire on a camp where the pilgrims were staying, near the resort town of Pahalgam.

One of the militants was also killed.

India blamed the attack on a Pakistan-based militant group.

The Pakistani Government was quick to condemn the incident as a "terrorist attack", and angrily rejected claims it was implicated in the killings.

India has frequently accused Pakistan of supporting Islamic militants infiltrating into Indian-ruled Kashmir - a charge Pakistan denies.

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