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Last updated at 15:20 GMT, Wednesday, 06 January 2010

Violence in Kashmir

Summary

6 January 2010

An Indian police officer has been killed and several other people have been wounded in a gun battle in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Reporter:
Chris Morris

Indian soldiers point towards a building where suspected militants are hiding during a gunbattle in Srinagar, India

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Report

The sound of gun shots and explosions echoed through the centre of Srinagar after gunmen opened fire in Lal Chowk, the main square in the city's commercial district. After a relatively quiet period in Kashmir, there have been several recent attacks - four soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants last week.

But this latest attack is even more audacious, right in the heart of one of the most heavily policed cities in the world. Violent separatist groups, some of them backed by Pakistan, have been fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir for 20 years. The fighting is far less intense than it was in the 1990s, but a political solution to Kashmir's problems remains elusive.

So it's been a bloody start to the New Year in this highly sensitive region, which has been divided between India and Pakistan for decades.

In another sign of the complexity of the conflict, four Pakistani soldiers have been killed by a suicide bomber in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It's a worrying development for the Pakistani authorities, which suggests that Taliban militants may be trying to expand their area of operations.

Chris Morris, BBC News, Delhi

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Vocabulary

echoed

when a sound is reflected off a surface and heard again and again

opened fire

began shooting from a gun

ambush

when someone hides and waits for another person to appear so they can attack or kill them

audacious

when an action involves a lot of risk or danger

in the heart

in the centre or most important area

separatist groups

people who believe that they should be independent from India

intense

extreme or strong

elusive

difficult to find

a bloody start

a violent beginning

the complexity of the conflict

the difficulty of finding a solution to the disagreement