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Tuesday, 29 February, 2000, 09:32 GMT
More Hindus killed in Kashmir
women mourning hindus killed in remote village
Relatives and friends mourn a murdered Hindu women
By Daniel Lak in Delhi

For the second day running, suspected Muslim militant gunmen have shot dead members of the Hindu faith in the troubled territory of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Kashmir Conflict
In the latest incident, five Hindu truck drivers were separated from followers of other religions in a convoy of vehicles that were stopped by militants on the main highway. They were then shot dead.

On Sunday, four Kashmiri Hindus in a remote village in the south of the territory were murdered.

More vicious phase

The killing of Hindus by Muslim militants in Kashmir usually comes as the conflict there enters a dangerous and more vicious phase.

For centuries various religions co-existed relatively peacefully in Kashmir but about 10 years ago, attacks by Muslim separatist militants drove many tens of thousands of Hindu Kashmiris into exile.

indian soldier frisking man
Security has been stepped up in Kashmir ahead of President Clinton's visit to India
Since then there have been more killings of those Hindus who stayed behind.

Sunday's killings in a remote village is the sort of attack that has come more often in recent years of the conflict.

It was also in an area of Indian Kashmir remote from the traditional Hindu areas of settlement in the Kashmir Valley.

As for the murder of the five truck drivers, it seems certain they were singled out because of their religion.

Muslims and Sikhs who were part of the convoy stopped by militants on the highway south of Srinagar were not harmed as the gunmen shot dead the five Hindus.

'Ethnic cleansing'

The authorities in Delhi and Kashmir say Muslim militants backed by Pakistan have an agenda of ethnic cleansing as part of their violent campaign to wrest Kashmir from Indian control.

Pakistan denies this and any active involvement in the insurgency.

But it appears that fears in India of heightened militant violence in Kashmir before President Clinton's visit to the region next month are coming true.
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28 Jan 00 |  South Asia
Nine dead in Kashmir violence
09 Feb 00 |  South Asia
Clinton aims to ease Indo-Pak tension
19 Jan 00 |  South Asia
On the defensive in Kashmir
05 Feb 00 |  South Asia
Musharraf backs Kashmiri militants
25 Jan 00 |  South Asia
Four dead in Kashmir attack
17 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Kashmir 'war still on'

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