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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Fresh violence rocks Kashmir
At least 13 people have been killed in three separate incidents in Indian-administered Kashmir in an upsurge in violence.

soldiers with seized weapons
Officers pose with a cache of weapons seized from militants
Thirty people have also been injured in a landmine explosion along a key highway linking the state's summer and winter capitals.

More than 20 people have now died in two days of violence in the restive region which is disputed between India and Pakistan.

It follows the alleged killing of a top Kashmiri militant by Indian forces over the weekend.

The landmine blast took place along the Srinagar-Jammu highway, damaging an army vehicle as well as a civilian bus.

One civilian was killed. A defence spokesman said dozens of soldiers and 17 civilians were wounded.

The Hizbul Mujahideen militant group has said it carried out the attack.

Family killed

Suspected militants are said to have killed five members of a Muslim family overnight, in Doda district.

They included a village headman, his two brothers, son and a female relative.

TUESDAY VIOLENCE
One civilian killed and 30 people injured in landmine blast
Militants kill a family of five in Doda
Indian forces kill five militants in a shoot-out in Poonch
One militant killed in foiled suicide attack

The headman, Khadim Hussain, is said to have defied a call by militants to step down from his post.

In another incident, police say they killed five militants in a shoot-out in the mountainous district of Poonch.

A policeman was also killed in the exchange, they said.

Also on Tuesday, one alleged militant was killed in an apparent suicide attack on an Indian security camp near the state's summer capital, Srinagar.

"Alert sentries at the gate gunned down one unidentified militant in combat uniform outside the gate," a statement from India's Border Security Force said.

Highway bombed

Late on Monday night suspected militants blew up a bridge on the key highway linking the state with India.

Indian soldiers display the body of the man they say is Ghazi Baba
Indian soldiers display the body of the man they say is Ghazi Baba
Thousands of vehicles, including military trucks, were stranded for hours while the authorities repaired the breach.

The latest burst of violence follows a bloody weekend in Kashmir, during which Indian forces claim they killed a top militant, Ghazi Baba, after a 10-hour fire-fight.

Ghazi Baba, of the Jaish-e-Mohammad group, is alleged to have been the brains behind a string of spectacular strikes against India in recent years.

He is said to have helped hijack an Indian domestic flight to Afghanistan in 1999.

Indian police say he was a key figure in the attack on the parliament in Delhi in December 2001, which brought nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan close to war.

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of arming the Kashmiri militants - a charge Pakistan has denied.

Both India and Pakistan claim the entirety of the Kashmir region as their own, and have gone to war three times over it.

Since 1989, the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir has been the site of a fierce insurgency waged by Islamic guerrillas who demand independence from Delhi.




SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Kashmir dispute
25 Apr 03  |  South Asia


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