- SRINAGAR, India (Reuters)
- At least 18 people have been killed in clashes in the revolt-racked
Himalayan region of Kashmir, the center of a military face-off between
India and Pakistan, Indian police said Tuesday.
- Four Muslim militants were shot dead late Monday in a
gunbattle near the Pakistani border in Rajouri district southwest of Srinagar,
the summer capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state.
- Later Monday night, four militants and two Indian security
force personnel were killed in clashes in the neighboring district of Poonch,
- Two civilians were killed and nine were wounded Tuesday
when suspected rebels threw a grenade at a security patrol near the Kokernag
area of south Kashmir.
- "The grenade missed the target and exploded on the
road," a police official said.
- Elsewhere, three militants, a policeman and two civilians
have been killed in separate shootouts in the Kashmir Valley in the past
24 hours, police said.
- India accuses Pakistan of training and arming separatist
rebels fighting its rule in Kashmir. Pakistan says it only offers the rebels
political and diplomatic support.
- The nuclear-armed neighbors have been locked in a standoff
across their frontier since December when India blamed Pakistan-based Kashmiri
rebels for a bloody attack on the Indian parliament in New Delhi.
- Close to a million troops have been mobilized on the
- India has demanded that Pakistan end "cross-border
terrorism." Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf launched
a crackdown on militants in January, vowing that Pakistan would not be
used as a springboard for attacks on India.
- But a senior Indian police official recently told Reuters
more than 3,000 guerrillas were waiting in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir
to cross into the Indian side of Kashmir.
- The neighbors have fought two of their three wars since
independence in 1947 over Kashmir. A 740-km (460-miles) Line of Control,
or cease-fire line, divides Kashmir between the two.
- More than 33,000 people have been killed since 1989 when
Islamic guerrillas seeking either independence or union with neighboring
Pakistan launched a revolt. Separatists put the toll closer to 80,000.
- India controls 45 percent of Kashmir, Pakistan just over
a third and China the rest.
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