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July 31, 2000
Lashkar-e-Toiba says attack in response to peace talks
The Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack on the army transit camp in north Kashmir, which killed six army personnel and injured seven others, saying it was in retaliation to the unilateral ceasefire announced by another militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
LET spokesman Abu Usama said that two fidayeen (suicidal squads) of the outfit stormed the Sunderbani Brigade headquarters of the Rashtriya Rifles in Bandipora and returned safely. He claimed ten soldiers were killed in the attack.
Usama said militants of the outfit were directed to intensify attacks on the security forces.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Defence Minister George Fernandes said the attack would not affect the proposed talks with the Hizbul Mujahideen. The army would retaliate against militants, except those of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, he told reporters after attending the National Cadet Corps' National Integration Camp in New Delhi.
The cadets gathered in the capital after their visit to Leh, Kargil, Drass and Srinagar where they were shown the battlefields of the recent conflict.
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