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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Kashmir on strike over killings
Guard on house in Doda district
Villages in Doda district are under guard
A strike called to protest against the killings of 35 Hindus has shut down parts of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Suspected Islamic militants killed them in two separate incidents in the state's Jammu region, which is dominated by Hindus.

The killings came days ahead of scheduled talks between the Indian prime minister and separatists.

India says the attacks, the worst since it agreed a 2003 truce with Pakistan, are aimed at derailing peace efforts.

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On Tuesday, Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil travelled to Kashmir but was unable to visit the site of the attack because of bad weather.

The strike in protest against the killings has affected life in all the major towns of the state's Jammu region.

No group has come forward to say they carried out the killings which have been blamed on separatist militants.

Twenty-two people were shot dead after being taken from their homes in mountainous Doda district on Sunday.

On Monday, police found the bodies of nine Hindu cattle grazers who had been abducted in nearby Udhampur district.

The bodies of four other cattle grazers had been found on Sunday.

A leading militant group, the Hizbul Mujahideen, condemned the attack and alleged it had been carried out by Indian intelligence services.

More than 60,000 people have been killed since an armed separatist insurgency began in Kashmir in 1989.

Talks

India and Pakistan, both of which lay claim to Kashmir in its entirety, have observed a ceasefire in the region since 2003 and have been holding peace talks for the past two years.

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India needs a government that has legs to stand on
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On Tuesday, officials from both countries met in Delhi to discuss opening the Line of Control - which divides the disputed region between India and Pakistan - to trucks carrying cargo.

Last year the two countries launched a bus service across the LoC to allow Kashmiris to travel between Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

But the two sides have made little progress over the core Kashmir dispute.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
One survivor recounts his experience of the attack



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