Missing Japanese Tourist Traced in Israel
SRINAGAR, India (AP) _ A Japanese tourist who police feared was kidnapped by separatist guerrillas in Kashmir province has been located in Israel, the Japanese Embassy said today.
Kazuaki Chiba, 26, spoke on the telephone from Tel Aviv to an embassy official in New Delhi, the embassy reported.
Chiba flew from New Delhi to Tel Aviv on Nov. 11, a week after checking into a houseboat on Srinagar’s Dal Lake, said Yuri Kodere, information director of the embassy. Chiba had come to India from Israel, she said.
Indian police searched for Chiba after the houseboat owner reported him missing Nov. 5. The owner said Chiba left behind some of his belongings and paid in advance for a 30-day stay.
Muslim rebels have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence since 1989. Jammu-Kashmir is the only Muslim-dominated state in mostly Hindu India.
For four months, guerrillas of the Al-Faran group have been holding four Westerners hostage in the Himalayas. A fifth hostage was decapitated in August, and a sixth captive escaped.