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DATE=1/3/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=KASHMIR BLAST (L-UPDATE) NUMBER=2-257721 BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Separatists are being blamed for an explosion that has killed 14-people and injured more than 30 others at a market in Indian Kashmir. The explosion in Srinigar occurred as senior Indian leaders blamed Pakistan for last week's hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane by Islamic militants. VOA'S Jim Teeple reports India's Prime Minister is calling for Pakistan to be declared a terrorist state. TEXT: The blast occurred at a vegetable market in the summer capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state. The market is frequented by members of Indian security forces in Kashmir, but most of the victims appear to be civilians. It is the first attack blamed on Kashmiri separatist militants since hijackers freed more than 150-hostages New Year's Eve. In return the hijackers gained the release of a Pakistani-born cleric and two Kashmiri separatist militants. Earlier Monday, India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said he will urge major nations of the world, including the United States, to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. He became the latest senior Indian official to accuse Pakistan of involvement in the hijacking. Speaking in the Indian city of Pune, Mr. Vajpayee called the hijacking an integral part of a Pakistan- backed campaign of terrorism against India. Indian officials are warning of an upsurge in violence following the hostage crisis. Indian National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra says his government knows who the hijackers are and has evidence of Pakistani involvement in the weeklong hostage crisis. // MISHRA ACT // We have very clear evidence that Pakistan was involved in this hijacking. The five hijackers are all Pakistani nationals - we have their names. The list of 36 militants which was given to us to be released in exchange for the hostages are mostly Pakistani's. // END ACT // Mr Mishra says India has intercepted radio transmissions from Kashmiri separatist guerrillas, linking Pakistan to the hijacking. Pakistan condemned the hijacking and strongly denies any involvement. While Indian officials are blaming Pakistan for the hijacking they have offered no proof. Senior Indian officials are discounting reports in Indian newspapers that the hijackers received help from Taleban authorities in Afghanistan. Mr. Mishra says the hijackers had more guns after they landed in Afghanistan, but the guns came from luggage they checked on board the plane before it left Katmandu, Nepal bound for New Delhi. // MISHRA ACT // When the aircraft got to Kandahar, the flight engineer was asked by one of the hijackers to go down and open the hold and bring out one bag from the hold. And as soon as that bag was brought to the aircraft there were more arms in the aircraft. // END ACT // Senior Indian officials are being heavily criticized for allowing the hijacked plane to leave Indian territory. Shortly after the plane was seized, it landed in the northern Indian city of Amritsar for refueling. But after about one hour the hijackers became nervous and forced the pilot to take off. Mr. Mishra says airport officials in Amritsar were instructed to delay the refueling, but the orders were never carried out. Meanwhile, India's civil aviation minister says India plans to put anti-terrorist commandos on many flights to prevent further hijackings. (SIGNED) NEB/JLT/RAE 03-Jan-2000 09:35 AM EDT (03-Jan-2000 1435 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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