July 2002 News

Death toll in J&K attack rises to 27, massive hunt launched

14 July 2002
The Hindustan Times

Jammu: The Cabinet Committee on Security met here to discuss Saturday''s attack in Jammu after which Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani said he is going to the massacre site on Sunday to assess the situation. Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 27. Twenty-eight people remained in hospital, eight of whom are in critical condition. Attackers disguised as sadhus opened fire in a mainly Hindu slum in Kashimnagar on the outskirts of Jammu on Saturday night. ''Three people have died in hospital,'' a police official told Reuters. Of the dead, 13 were men, 13 women and one was a child. Massive manhunt has been launched to nab the killers who are said to have escaped into a jungle near the attack site, officials said. The raid was expected to heighten friction between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed states which went to the brink of war following a May raid on an army camp in Kaluchak blamed on Pakistan-backed militants. Tensions eased last month after Pakistan pledged to halt militant infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir following intense US-led diplomatic pressure. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but police said they suspected a Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Police said they had deployed troops in the slum area but had abandoned the search for the gunmen who they believed had fled.


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