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Monday, 25 November, 2002, 09:43 GMT
Pakistan blamed over Kashmir temple raids
An injured Indian policeman is carried by rescuers
At least 50 people were injured in the siege
India has held Pakistan responsible for violence in Indian-administered Kashmir, which has left 14 people dead.

Terrorists being mentored from across the border... have struck again

Indian deputy PM LK Advani
Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani said the attacks on two temple complexes in the territory followed the release last week by Pakistan of the chief of an outlawed militant group, the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

"After his release, he said the jihad would continue in Kashmir," Mr Advani, who is known for his hardline views towards Pakistan, told parliament in Delhi.

His comments came in the wake of a series of gunbattles around the Raghunath Temple in Jammu, the Kashmir winter capital, in which police killed three militants.

Earlier this year, the two nuclear neighbours came close to war over Kashmir, following continued violence by separatists opposed to Indian rule in the disputed region.

Temple siege

Kashmir attacks:

1 October 2001:
38 killed in attack on Kashmir assembly
13 December 2001:
14 killed in attack on parliament in Delhi
30 March 2002:
10 killed in Raghunath Temple attack
14 May 2002:
34 killed in attack on army camp near Jammu
13 July 2002:
27 Hindus killed in shantytown near Jammu

Sunday's storming of the Raghunath Temple complex sparked an exchange of fire with police and soldiers which went on for hours.

Worshippers fled the temple in panic amid the shooting and police said at least 50 people were injured, including two priests.

The security forces finally cornered and shot dead two militants - one of whom had fled to the nearby Panchvaktar temple.

But soon after dawn on Monday, security forces came under fire from the nearby Shiv temple.

The BBC's Adam Mynott in Delhi says this latest attack will test the resolve of the new state government, which has promised to tackle militancy in Kashmir.

Worshippers trapped

Hundreds of Hindu pilgrims were inside the temple at the time of the attack.

Indian television showed pictures of terrified worshippers fleeing for safety.

This is not the first time the famous temple has been targeted. At least 10 people were killed and 15 others injured when militants attacked it in March.

The temple is visited by hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims from across the country every year.

The temple, dedicated to the supreme Hindu deity Rama, was built in 1860 by the Hindu king of Kashmir, Ranbir Singh.

The temple attack comes just a day after 12 people, including six soldiers, were killed when a bus hit a landmine in the troubled region.

Separatist rebels are suspected of having triggered the device.

Escaping Hindu devotees
Many of the worshippers fled for safety
Violence has returned to Kashmir after a short lull following the appointment of reformist Mufti Mohammed Sayeed as state leader on 2 November.

He has promised to combat the militants and has pledged to push ahead with a planned package of reforms for the troubled region.

A number of Islamic militant groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India since 1989.

So far, more than 61,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The BBC's Adam Mynott
"The Indian Deputy Prime Minister said the Pakistan based militant group...had been involved"
Yashwant Sinha, Indian foreign minister
"We are not the aggressors"
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25 Nov 02 | Europe
25 Nov 02 | South Asia
25 Nov 02 | South Asia
25 Nov 02 | South Asia
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