March 2005 News

Three Die In Kashmir Camp Attack

30 March 2005

Srinagar: Indian soldiers have shot dead two militants after they attempted to storm a military camp in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say. An Indian soldier was also killed in the attack which took place in Sopore, north of the summer capital, Srinagar. The attack comes a week before the launch of a landmark bus service linking Srinagar with Muzaffarabad, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Separatist militants have opposed the bus service. The latest attack took place when the militants walked up to the main gate of an Indian Border Security Force (BSF) camp and opened fire. 'Both [militants] who tried to enter the BSF camp were shot dead,' BSF spokesman, Neeraj Sharma, told Reuters. The area has been cordoned off and a search is underway to see whether any other militants are in the area. Bus service Next week's Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service is seen as a key step in the India-Pakistan peace process. The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says there has been no let up in separatist violence or the offensive by Indian security forces against militants ahead of the opening of the road across the Line of Control for the bus service. The opening has been acclaimed by many, including moderate separatist leaders, as a huge confidence-building measure. But militants and hardline separatist politicians have spoken against the move, saying it is an attempt to divert attention from their struggle for self-determination. Militant separatists have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir - which both Pakistan and India claim - since 1989. About 40,000 people have been killed. The nations have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence.


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