Indian Kashmir Minister Escapes Assassination Attempt

Posted December 11th, 2011 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Police in India-controlled Kashmir say the region's senior minister and ruling National Conference leader, Ali Muhammad Sagar, has narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.

Local authorities said Sagar, the state law minister, was attacked by unidentified gunmen Sunday evening in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. Sagar was attending an engagement party for his niece at the time.

Three policemen and a civilian were wounded in the shootout. One of the wounded policemen later died at a local hospital.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both. Since 1989, Muslim separatists have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from Hindu-majority India or for a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. At least 50,000 people have died in the violence.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two wars over the Himalayan region since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.