10 killed in Kashmir ahead of civic polls

Agence France Presse

Srinagar, January 31:

Suspected Muslim rebels killed 10 people, including three children, in a fresh spurt of violence a day ahead of a crucial phase of municipal elections in Indian Kashmir, officials said today. Police said four members of a Muslim family were killed, two of them minors, and two wounded when hand grenades were hurled at their home in southern Doda district today. The wounded were in critical condition, a police spokesman said.

In the neighbouring district of Anantnag, suspected rebels overnight stormed into another Muslim household wounding the owner and killing his wife. “They abducted his son and hanged him,” the spokesman said. In Srinagar militants overnight shot dead a Muslim contractor, police said. No group has claimed responsibility .

Meanwhile, Indian troops on counter-insurgency operations shot dead three members of a hardline group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, in the districts of Rajouri and Anantnag overnight, police said. Srinagar, a hotbed of militancy, and Jammu, the winter capital are due to stage municipal polls tomorrow.

Baramulla and Kupwara voted Saturday amid reports of a 60 per cent decent turnout, despite rebel threats and separatist calls to boycott the civic elections — the first in Indian Kashmir for 27 years.