Twelve Killed In Militant Attacks In Indian Kashmir
10 September 2005
Srinagar: Twelve people, including a child and three soldiers, were killed and 13 were wounded in separate attacks by suspected Muslim militants across Indian Kashmir, security officials said on Saturday. The attacks came days after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured Kashmiri separatists that New Delhi would cut troop levels in the region if rebel violence and guerrilla incursions from Pakistan ceased. Three soldiers were killed and five wounded on Saturday when militants ambushed an army convoy south of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir state's summer capital, an army spokesman said. 'The army convoy came under heavy gunfire from a house. The area has been cordoned off and troops are searching the area,' army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel V.K. Batra said. A banned hardline militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, called a local news service and claimed responsibility for the attack. On Friday night, suspected militants attacked the families of two policemen with grenades and automatic weapons in Udhampur district, killing six people and wounding eight. 'Those killed were in their teens besides a four-year-old child,' a police official said in Jammu, the winter capital. In another incident in the same district, militants killed three Hindu shepherds by slitting their throats, police said. Police blame separatist guerrillas for the killings but no militants group has claimed responsibility so far. Authorities say rebel incursions from Pakistan and violence continue in the Himalayan region despite a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan, which have fought two wars over the region. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir, mainly Hindu India's only Muslim-majority state, since a revolt broke out in 1989. India says Pakistan aids Muslim militants in the region, a charge Islamabad denies.