Date: 5/9/2006


Wednesday, May 03, 2006 /////// Doda, Udhmapur massacres /////// Indian Army hunts for militants //////// JAMMU: Indian troops on Tuesday were engaged in “search and destroy” missions in a mountainous zone of Jammu and Kashmir where Muslim militants, blamed for killing 34 Hindus, were believed to be hiding, the army said./////// “We will not let them go. We are determined,” said Indian Army Spokesman Lt Col RK Chibbar in Jammu. The massive manhunt involved commandos and combat troops armed with mortars and rocket launchers in the forests of Doda and Udhampur districts where suspected militants staged two separate attacks on Sunday. /////// “Operations are on all over the place and depending on what intelligence we get, we will carry out search and destroy missions,” Chibber said. “Doda is in the hinterland and with our border fencings and electronic surveillance in place we don’t think these militants can run away.” /////// Twenty-two villagers, mostly shepherds or their families, were lined up and shot in Thawa village in Doda on Sunday night. In neighbouring Udhampur, 12 Hindus kidnapped on Sunday by suspected militants were shot dead. Four bodies were found Sunday and eight more on Monday.////// Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the sectarian massacres, the worst for six years in the state. Singh was scheduled to hold a second round of direct talks with moderate leaders of the All Party Hurriyat Conference - a forum of some one dozen Islamic separatist groups - in New Delhi on Wednesday. The two sides are also set to hold a second roundtable on May 25 in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital. Hardline separatist leaders oppose all such meetings. AFP ////////