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Hindus Killed in Kashmir Ahead of Truce

November 25, 2000|Reuters

SRINAGAR, India — A Pakistan-based militant group kidnapped and killed five people Friday, police said, days before a unilateral cease-fire by Indian forces goes into effect in Kashmir.

Police said the bodies of the men, all Hindus, were recovered from forests in Kishtwar district, about 130 miles east of Jammu, the winter capital of Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir.

A sixth man who also was abducted from near a bus stop in Akhala was still missing.

Police said the militants belonged to the hard-core Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has rejected the cease-fire announced by New Delhi during the holy month of Ramadan that begins next week.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said earlier in the week that the cease-fire plan was risky, but he was determined to go ahead with it as a first step toward ending the nearly 11-year revolt in the Himalayan region.

Most of the militant groups have dismissed the truce offer as a ploy to win international sympathy and vowed to step up attacks on military camps across Kashmir.

Officials say more than 30,000 people have been killed in separatist violence in the Himalayan region since 1990.

India holds Pakistan responsible for stoking the revolt, a charge Islamabad denies.

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