March 2001 News

Lashkar threatens more suicide attacks in Kashmir

18 March 2001
The Times of India

SRINAGAR: Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group on Sunday threatened to step up suicide attacks on security forces in Kashmir in retaliation against an attack on a senior separatist leader. In a press statement sent to AFP, Lashkar-e-Toiba warned Indian troops "to be ready to face more Fidayeen (suicide) attacks." "Indians want to liquidate the Kashmiri separatist leaders who are fighting the holy war for Kashmir," the Lashker statement said. "The cowardly attack on Syed Ali Shah Geelani has exposed India's pseudo face of secularism," it added. A Lashker spokesman said the militants was chalking out a fresh pattern of attacks which "will be very fatal for the Indian security troops." Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, 72, of the Jamat-i-Islami group, was taken into police custody on Friday after he tried to break through a security cordon outside his residence. Geelani was allowed to go home on Saturday morning, but was involved in a fresh scuffle with police. The separatist leader, who has a record of heart problems, fainted and was rushed to hospital, where doctors said he was out of danger. The news of Geelani's hospitalisation, combined with rumours that he had suffered a heart attack and died, triggered a fresh round of violence in restive Kashmir. Nearly all Kashmiri separatist leaders have condemned the attack on Geelani. More than 34,000 people have died in an armed separatist insurgency in India's Kashmir in the last 12 years. (AFP)   


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