Kashmir Politician Wounded, Guards Killed In Attack
17 April 2006
Srinagar: A senior politician in Indian Kashmir was wounded and two of his guards killed on Monday in an attack by suspected separatist militants, police said.They said two police guards were also wounded in the attack which came a week ahead of by-elections for four seats for the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly, including one being contested by state Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. 'A volley of gunfire by militants wounded Ali Mohammad Naik and his four guards,' a police officer told Reuters. Naik was coming out of his house when he was shot, he said. Naik, a former lawmaker and senior leader of Kashmir's main opposition party, National Conference, was taken to hospital. A little known militant group, the Islamic Front, called newspaper offices and claimed responsibility for the attack which occurred near Tral township, south of Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the region since a separatist revolt erupted in 1989. Islamist militants fighting New Delhi's rule in the region, claimed both by India and Pakistan, have stepped up attacks in the past few days. Five people were killed and 40 wounded in a wave of grenade attacks in Srinagar on Friday. But officials say overall violence levels have declined after India and Pakistan launched a peace process more than two years ago.