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India: Militants Kill 5 in Kashmir - 2002-06-16


India says Islamic militants have gunned down five Hindu villagers in Kashmir, despite the deployment of hundreds of thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops along the line of control that divides the disputed region.

Police say armed separatist fighters barged into a house in the Udhampur district today (Sunday), killing five people and injuring at least three others.

Separately, several militants were reported killed in gunbattles with security forces near the Kashmiri summer capital, Srinagar.

The latest violence comes a day after India said it had foiled an attempt by separatists to kill its top official in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Authorities say two grenades were fired at Jammu and Kashmir (state) chief minister Farooq Abdullah, but one failed to explode and the other missed its target. There were no reports of injuries in the attack.

Indian news reports say a previously unknown Muslim militant group (Al-Madina Regiment) claimed responsibility for the attack.

There were no immediate signs today (Sunday) that the violence has affected the general easing of bilateral tensions.

Nuclear rivals India and Pakistan still have a million troops massed along their 29-hundred kilometer border. Cross-border clashes take place almost daily.

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