February 2001 News

Quit or face attack, militants warn Kashmir police

10 February 2001
The Asian Age
Ashok Pahalwan

Jammu: Pakistan-based Laskhar-e-Taiba warned troops from special police units in Jammu and Kashmir state to resign from their jobs or face further suicide attacks. The warning by the militant group, in a statement circulated to media organisations state late on Saturday, came a day after one of its suicide squads attacked the main police centre in Srinagar and killed nine policemen. Two of the four-member suicide squad were killed during the attack in the state's summercapital, which started on Friday night. The other two escaped, officials said. "Police and Special Task Force (STF) personnel are warned to give up their jobs en masse failing which suicide squads would launch attacks on them," a Lashkar-e-Taiba spokesman, Sallah-ud-Din, said in the statement. STF units are anti-terrorist police and have been accused by Laskhar and other militant and separatist groups of killing detainees in Kashmir. A unilateral Indian ceasefire, or suspension of offensive operations, is holding in Kashmir despite high-profile attacks on civilians by suspected militants and on security forces by guerrillas. On Saturday morning, 15 people, including seven children, were burnt to death in an attack on a village 175 km (110 miles) north of Jammu, the winter capital of the strife-torn state. Five of the dead were members of an armed village defence committee, set up by the state government to help security forces combat militants in rural areas.


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