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Suicide Attacks Planned Vs. India

July 14, 1999

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Undeterred by Pakistan’s peace initiative with India, Islamic militants today threatened suicide attacks to intensify their struggle for freedom in the disputed Kashmir region.

``Dozens of volunteers are ready to carry out sacrificial missions against the enemy,″ Abdullah Muntazir, a primary spokesman of the militant Lashkar-e-Tayyaba group, told The Associated Press.

The ``sacrificial missions″ are aimed at inflicting massive losses, he said. Muslim groups don’t call them suicide missions because Islam prohibits taking one’s own life.

``But the desire of martyrdom is a passion among all mujahedeen (holy warriors),″ Muntazir said.

On Tuesday, militants attacked a heavily guarded paramilitary camp in Indian Kashmir’s Bandipora area and shot dead a top security official, three soldiers and a soldier’s wife. Th then took 12 hostages who were freed during a two-hour firefight today that left the insurgents dead, Indian officials said.

It was the first time that the mujahedeen carried out such an attack in Kashmir, Muntazir said.

Ahmed Hamza, a central leader of Al-Badar, another guerrilla group, said his fighters will also carry out similar attacks in all parts of Kashmir.

Muslim militants have been waging a bloody war against Indian rule in Kashmir _ the only Muslim-majority state in Hindu-dominated India _ for over a decade for complete independence or merger with Islamic Pakistan.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India and has been the cause of two wars between them since their independence from Britain in 1947. Both claim Kashmir in its entirety.

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