BATOTE, India (AP) _ Five men armed with automatic rifles ambushed a newlywed couple and their wedding guests in India's Kashmir state, killing 25, including the groom.

Another six people were injured in the attack, which police blamed on Pakistan-backed Muslim separatists. The victims were Hindu.

The newlyweds were attacked as they walked back to their village after their wedding, said Gurbachan Jagat, Kashmir's police chief.

The gunmen emerged from the woods as the wedding party was resting by a stream in Chapnali, a village on the way where the newlyweds had stopped for tea, Jagat quoted witnesses as saying.

Firing AK-47s, the assailants gunned down 25 of 36 people. The bride survived, but the groom was killed on the spot, Jagat said by telephone from Srinagar, the provincial capital.

Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir, a predominantly Muslim region divided between the two countries. They have fought two wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1947.