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Wednesday, 15 December, 1999, 17:59 GMT
Kashmir army camp attacked

Indian soldier near Line of Control Indian troops have been on alert since the fighting in the summer


Militants in Indian-administered Kashmir have launched an attack on a heavily-guarded army camp in the territory.

Kashmir Conflict
The militants, members of the Lashkar-e Toyeba group, carried out the attack near Rafiabad, about 60 km (40 miles) from the state capital, Srinagar, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

There are conflicting accounts as to whether the attackers managed to enter the camp or fired at it from outside.

Police sources say the militants struck from inside the camp, killing one soldier and wounding 14 others.


Soldier searching civilian Security has been stepped up in Srinagar
They say the exchange of fire lasted for two hours.

However, the army says grenades were fired at the camp from outside.

The casualties had to be evacuated by helicopter.

The army has cordoned off a number of villages and is carrying out a search for the militants.

It is the third major attack against the Indian security forces in the last two months.

Upsurge

In November, militants battled with troops at the army HQ in Srinagar.

And earlier this week, six policemen were killed in attacks in the state capital. The six - among them an assistant sub-inspector - were all killed in quick succession in high-security areas.

The Indian Government has expressed concern about the upsurge in violence and has sent a high-level team to investigate the killings.

Musharraf letter

In another development, an investigation has been promised into reports that a letter from the Pakistani military leader, General Musharraf, was secretly delivered to a leading Kashmiri separatist in prison.

Opposition members of parliament have demanded a probe into reports that a letter written by General Musharraf was handed to Syed Ali Shah Gailani, who is currently in prison in the state of Rajasthan.

Mr Gailani is chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference.


LK Advani LK Advani: Announced an enquiry
Home Minister LK Advani has promised to look into the matter, and the Rajasthan state prisons minister has announced an inquiry.

He said Jodhpur prison is considered one of the safest in India, holding 28 Kashmiri militants including Mr Gailani.

The letter is reported to reaffirm Pakistan's diplomatic and moral support for the separatist movement in Kashmir.

There was fighting in Kashmir earlier this year after Pakistani forces crossed into Indian-held territory in the disputed state.

The fighting along the Line of Control eventually subsided, but separatist groups in Indian-administered Kashmir have continued to carry out attacks.

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See also:
13 Dec 99 |  South Asia
Probe into Kashmir police deaths
07 Dec 99 |  South Asia
Kashmir separatist group wants talks
17 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Kashmir 'war still on'
17 Nov 99 |  South Asia
India goes arms shopping
10 Nov 99 |  South Asia
India and Pakistan clash in Kashmir
27 Oct 99 |  South Asia
US urges Pakistani pullback in Kashmir

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