December 2004 News

Militants Storm Police Camp In Kashmir, Kill Five

3 December 2004

Srinagar: Muslim guerrillas hurled grenades as they attacked a federal police camp on Friday in Indian Kashmir, gunning down two policemen at the gates and killing three more inside the base, authorities said. Indian soldiers and an unknown number of militants were still exchanging intermittent fire more than 12 hours after the raid on the police camp in the Sopore area, 48 km (30 miles) north of Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, a police officer said. Friday's strike was the biggest attack by rebels fighting New Delhi's rule in Jammu and Kashmir since a visit by Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz last month to India. During the visit Aziz discussed the dispute over the region with his counterpart Manmohan Singh. The rebels, who were holding out inside the police camp's arms depot, were lobbing grenades and firing at soldiers in nearby buildings. Six policemen were wounded in the fighting. Al-Mansoorian, a little- known militant group, called newspaper offices in Srinagar and claimed responsibility. Indian security agencies say Al-Mansoorian is the new name of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an outlawed Pakistan-based guerrilla group. Islamabad denies India's allegations that it fuels the 15-year-old revolt in Kashmir, but says it provides moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri 'freedom fighters'. Last month, New Delhi began to pull out a small number of its over 400,000 troops in Kashmir, citing a fall in incursions from Pakistan and a drop in guerrilla attacks. About 45,000 people have been killed in the revolt which began in 1989.


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