JAMMU, India, AP -Suspected Islamic militants raided a village in Indian-controlled Kashmir and killed 22 Hindus, lining them outside their homes and shooting them execution-style, police said Monday.
One survivor said some of the assailants were wearing army uniforms and coaxed people out of their homes by claiming they were soldiers sent to meet with villagers.
Following the attack Sunday in Thava — a village about 100 miles northeast of Jammu, the winter capital of India’s Jammu-Kashmir state — survivors rushed to alert a nearby army camp, but the assailants fled before security forces arrived, said Sheesh Pal Vaid, a police inspector-general.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Vaid called the killings “a terrorist attack” — a clear indication that authorities are blaming Islamic militants for the attack.
Also Sunday, police found the bodies of four Hindu cattle grazers who were abducted over the weekend by suspected Islamic militants, said L. D. Mohanty, the deputy inspector-general of police. The bodies were recovered near Basantgarh, a village in Udhampur district in Jammu-Kashmir state.
Five other cattle grazers also abducted from the village Saturday were still missing, Mohanty said.
The attack in India’s portion of the divided Himalayan territory was the latest violence against Kashmir’s dwindling Hindu minority, and drew condemnation from both Muslims and Hindus.
Nearly a dozen militants groups have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. India says most of the groups are based in Pakistan and receive material and training from Islamabad — allegations denied by Pakistan. More than 66,000 people have been killed.
The insurgents have pressed their fight in recent years, even after Pakistan and India agreed on a cease-fire in 2003 and began peace talks the following year.