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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Kashmir rebels 'beat girl to death'
Four militants have beaten to death the nine-year-old daughter of a suspected informer, police in Indian-administered Kashmir say.

The girl's 12-year-old sister was seriously injured in the attack in Rajouri district on Thursday night.

The attackers were allegedly looking for the girls' father, Nissar Hussain, in the village of Khablan, 180 kilometres (110 miles) north-west of the winter capital, Jammu.

Police said Mr Hussain fled through the back of his house as he saw the militants approach.

The attackers beat Nazia, nine, and Shazia, 12, to try to find their father's whereabouts.

Nazia received severe head injuries and died on the spot, police said, while Shazia was taken to hospital by neighbours.

Shazia was later transferred to Jammu for treatment, where she is in a critical condition.

Doda unrest

The attack was the latest in a series on women and girls by suspected separatist rebels, police said.

Indian soldiers on patrol in Kashmir
The attack was the latest of a series on women, security forces say
They suspect militants hanged the sister of a temporary police recruit in a forest in the state's north-west on Sunday.

Muslim militants have been fighting since 1989 to merge India's section of divided Kashmir with Pakistan's or to make it independent.

Separately on Friday, authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir imposed a curfew in Kishtwar, in the mountainous Doda district, after a clash between Hindus and Muslims.

Some Muslims had opened shops in defiance of a strike call by Hindus who were demanding the establishment of an army post to counter militant attacks.

The two sides threw stones and some shops were set on fire.

Around 20 people were hurt.

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