Islamic guerrillas kill 25 Hindus in grenade attack

What does Zionism have to do with Islamist terror in India?

The Associated Press, July 14, 2002

JAMMU, India - Suspected Islamic guerrillas threw grenades and engaged security forces in a gun battle Saturday, killing 25 Hindus - mostly women and children - in a shantytown outside the winter capital of Jammu-Kashmir state, police and hospital officials said.

More than 30 'people were wounded, according to officials at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu. State police chief Ashok Sun said authorities suspect the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, the most feared of more than dozen Pakistan-based Islamic groups fighting to secure Kashmir's independence from India or merger with mostly Muslim Pakistan. He did not elaborate. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, which is consistent with previous attacks in which many civilians were killed.

Up to eight militants walked into the shantytown outside Jammu and set off three or four grenades before opening fire, the police control officer said, citing witness accounts. The victims were watching a final cricket match between India and England on television, he said. "We. were watching the match when there was the boom. Everyone thought, there was bomb explosion and rushed there," said Babloo, a 17-year-old balloon seller who uses a single name.

The attack was the biggest since a May 14 strike by Islamic militants against a military base near Jammu that killed 34 people - mostly soldiers' wives and children - and put India on a war footing with neighboring Pakistan. The Indian government did not immediately react to news of the assault. But it was almost certain to raise tensions with Pakistan, which is blamed by New Delhi for most of the terrorist activity in India. Pakistan denies involvement.

Jammu, located in the southern part of Jammu-Kashmir, has rarely witnessed the kind of violence that has killed more than 60,000 people in the state over the past decade, mostly in the Kashmir Valley further to the north. But Islamic groups have increasingly made the Jammu region the focus of their attacks in recent months.





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