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Military

SLUG: 2-307000 India Violence
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=08/30/03

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-307000

TITLE=INDIA/VIOLENCE (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA

DATELINE=NEW DELHI

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: At least five suspected Islamic guerrillas and an Indian solider have been killed in a gun battle in Indian Kashmir, and Indian security forces believe a top rebel commander was involved in the fight. Indian police meanwhile found a huge quantity of explosives in New Delhi's main railway station. Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi.

TEXT: /// SFX SOUND OF GUNFIRE ///

Viewers across India watched live television coverage Saturday of a gun battle that broke out when Indian security forces stormed a house in a crowded neighborhood in Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar.

Officials say they raided the house because a Pakistan-based Islamic guerrilla group, the Jaish-e-Mohammad, was using it as a hideout.

Indian security forces believe that Gazi Baba, a top rebel commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad, was among the militants in the house.

Indian authorities have blamed Jaish-e-Mohammad, and another group called Lashkar-e-Taiba, for an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001, and for several other deadly assaults.

Gazi Baba, the Jaish-e-Mohammad leader, is one of those accused in the Indian parliament attack.

While the battle was taking place in Kashmir, Indian police said they discovered more than 20 kilograms of explosives on a platform in the main railway station of the capital, New Delhi.

The explosives were found in a bag during a routine check. The capital city's rail station is used by thousands of passengers every day.

The city has been on high alert since two terrorist bombs killed more than 50 people in Bombay earlier in the week. The Bombay attacks were followed by a surge of attacks by suspected militants in Kashmir.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee warned Friday that meaningful peace talks with Pakistan will not be possible until there is an end to terrorist attacks like these, which India blames on Kashmiri militants.

India charges that Pakistan has trained and funded the militants, a charge Pakistan denies.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed it its entirety by both. Several Muslim militant groups have been waging a separatist insurgency in the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir since 1989. (Signed)

NEB/HK/AP/BK/MEM



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