Former Hizb guerrilla, three family members massacred (Lead)

July 24th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, July 24 (IANS) Suspected guerrillas have shot dead a former militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen and three members of his family in Jammu and Kashmir’s mountainous Doda district and the police said the massacre appears to be an act of reprisal. The incident occurred around 11.30 p.m. Wednesday when terrorists barged into the house of Hizbul Mujahideen’s former guerrilla Ghulam Hassan in Marmat area, about 170 km north of Jammu, police officials said Thursday.

They opened indiscriminate fire, killing Hassan, 40, and three of his family members. The dead included his wife Azima, 36, his daughter Asiya,14 and his nephew Tauseef, 7, a Class 7 student.

The incident, police said, looked like an act of reprisal by the guerrillas whose ranks Hassan had deserted a few months ago.

“The matter is under investigation and the security forces have launched search operations (to nab) the militants,” senior superintendent of police (Doda) Raghubir Singh said.

“We are looking into the whole incident, trying to find out the motive,” Singh told IANS over the phone.

Five members of a family were, meanwhile, killed in a gruesome bomb attack by suspected terrorists in the summer capital Srinagar Thursday. The dead included four children.

Terrorist activities have picked up in Jammu and Kashmir with at least 18 people killed and over 40 injured in the past few days. On July 19, separatist insurgents triggered a massive blast leaving seven soldiers dead.

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