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 Monday, 23 December, 2002, 11:05 GMT
'Senior militants' killed in Kashmir
Villagers carry the body of a man killed during one of the attacks by the militants
Attacks killed a number of Kashmiris over the weekend
Indian border troops say they have killed three senior pro-Pakistan militants in Indian-administered Kashmir.

A spokesman said the militants belonged to the Al-Badr Mujahideen group, and died in a fierce clash not far from the summer capital, Srinagar.

The spokesman said two of the men had been identified, and came from Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir since independence.

Delhi says the rebels are backed by Pakistan.

Islambad says it gives them only moral support, and has promised to curb militant incursions from its territory into Indian-administered Kashmir.

Weapons

Monday's shoot-out took place at Tral, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Srinagar, the Border Security Force said.

The gun yields nothing but adds miseries to the people

Mehbooba Mufti
daughter of chief minister
The spokesman said one of the two men identified as Pakistanis had been a divisional commander of Al-Badr.

The third man was a local Kashmiri.

A "large quantity" of arms and ammunition had been recovered from the scene of the gunfight, the spokesman said.

Al-Badr is one of about a dozen rebel groups fighting to end Indian rule in Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state.

Dialogue

A Kashmir rebel fighter holds a rifle
Islamabad denies it arms the militants
There were a number of deadly attacks blamed on militants over the weekend in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The state's new leadership came to power in October, promising new measures to try to end years of bloodshed.

Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of the state's chief minister and a leader of the ruling People's Democratic Party, urged the militants to put down their guns on Monday.

She wants them to take part in dialogue on Kashmir's future.

"She said it is a historic fact that the gun yields nothing but adds miseries to the people and users," a party statement said.

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22 Dec 02 | South Asia
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