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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 18:12 GMT
Kashmir militants 'cut off villagers' noses'
By Binoo Joshi
BBC correspondent in Jammu

Muslim separatists have cut off the noses of five villagers in a remote area of Jammu, according to police in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The police say the militants assumed the victims were informers for the security forces.

This was the first incident of the kind in over 13 years of secessionist violence in the state, the police say.

Militants have killed civilians in the past on suspicion of being informers for the security forces.

Escaped

The security forces have launched a massive search for the attackers.

Police said a group of about six militants raided the remote Banihatti village in the border district of Rajouri on Friday.

They are alleged to have picked up five Muslim villagers, including one woman and cut off their noses as others watched.

Police say the militants warned other villagers against informing the security forces.

They later managed to escape into the dense mountains before police could reach the scene.

The victims were admitted to the government hospital in Rajouri.




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