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Pakistan: 14 Die in Indian Attack

February 25, 2000

DUMBSI, Pakistan (AP) _ Pakistani officials accused Indian soldiers Friday of crossing over the disputed Kashmir border and massacring 14 villagers, including four children. India denied the claim.

Several soldiers crept into Lanjod, a village 300 yards from the border, and attacked villagers using knives and guns, said Pakistan Army Brig. Dilshad Hussein Malik.

``This is the most inhuman and cowardly thing,″ Malik said. ``We would never have expected this kind of thing from soldiers. They are terrorists.″

Four others were seriously injured, hospital officials said. Thirteen bodies, some decapitated, were brought to a school in nearby Dumbsi for burial.

The victims were in one house for a religious gathering, said a report on state-owned Pakistan Television.

One of the survivors, Mohammed Younus, said he was shot in the back as he leapt from a window. He said as many as 15 men stormed the house.

``They were dressed in green uniforms, with big black boots and they were speaking Hindi,″ the national language of India, he said.

India denied the attack.

``It is totally incorrect. No such incident took place,″ said Indian Army spokesman Col. Shrutikant, who uses only one name.

In Muzaffarabad, capital of the Pakistan-held part of Kashmir, about 500 men shouted ``death to Indian terrorists″ as they marched to the United Nations office where they presented a protest letter.

A religious leader, Kifait Naqvi, urged the demonstrators to join the jehad, or holy war, against India.

Pakistan blamed Indian soldiers last year for a similar attack that killed 12 people in Samani district of Pakistan-ruled Kashmir.

Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in its entirety, and tensions last year nearly brought the nuclear-armed neighbors to the brink of a fourth war. Tens of thousands of Pakistani and Indian soldiers face off across the border.

Meanwhile, officials said a gun battle between feuding families killed 12 people Friday in remote northwestern Pakistan near Afghanistan. Feuds are not uncommon in this deeply conservative and tribal region of Pakistan.

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