Four killed in attack on Indian Kashmir paramilitary camp

An Indian paramilitary soldier gestures as he runs during a gunfight in Srinagar March 13, 2013. (File photo by REUTERS)
Updated 03 October 2017
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Four killed in attack on Indian Kashmir paramilitary camp

SRINAGAR, India: Three suspected militants were killed Tuesday after they stormed a paramilitary base near the main airport of Indian-administered Kashmir, police said, ending an hours-long gunbattle that also left a soldier dead.
Three paramilitary troopers and a police officer were also injured as the trio of attackers hurled grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Border Security Force (BSF) base next to Srinagar airport before dawn, director general of police S. P. Vaid said.
“All the three militants have been killed. An assistant sub-inspector of BSF also died in the initial assault,” Vaid told AFP.
Flight operations resumed at the high-security airport after being suspended briefly, with at least one in-bound flight from New Delhi canceled, authorities said.
The base in which the gunbattle took place shares a common compound wall with the airport.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in full.
For decades rebel groups have fought roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.
Tuesday’s attack came a day after Indian soldiers killed five suspected rebels near the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) that divides the territory with Pakistan.
In August, militants attacked a police base in the southern Kashmir town of Pulwama, killing eight security personnel. Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for that attack.
Two children were also killed on Monday during an exchange of gunfire between Indian and Pakistani troops, Indian authorities said.
Last week, Pakistan said three civilians were killed on their side of the de facto border in Kashmir after Indian soldiers opened fire.
New Delhi says Pakistan initiates cross-border firing to help anti-India rebels cross into Indian-administered Kashmir to launch attacks.
However, Islamabad says it provides only diplomatic support to the Kashmiri campaign for self-determination.


Over 400 Afghan women aim to break male stranglehold on Parliament

Updated 45 min 41 sec ago
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Over 400 Afghan women aim to break male stranglehold on Parliament

  • Of 2,691 candidates vying for seats in Afghanistan's parliament, more than 400 are women
  • Their aims are to encourage a consensus among female members of Parliament and to end the reliance on factional leaders and strongmen with power and wealth

KABUL: For women in Afghanistan’s Parliament, what a difference a year makes.

Last December, the government proposed 12 candidates for ministerial positions; only one was female, and she failed to win enough votes.

Now hundreds of women aim to be agents of change by standing for Parliament in elections on Saturday.

More than 400 of the 2,691 candidates are women. Their aims are to encourage a consensus among female members of Parliament and to end the reliance on factional leaders and strongmen with power and wealth.

“The young and new candidates are a powerful tool to make Parliament exercise its rights as stipulated in the constitution,” said Zahra Nawabi, 28, a candidate from Kabul who has two master’s degrees.

“Our priority should be women, first and foremost addressing their health. Parliament should not become a source of shame for the nation.”

The practice of wealthy figures and men with power supporting their own choice of female nominees was a greater threat to Afghan democracy than the threatened attacks on the election process by Taliban insurgents, she said.

“The government needs to intervene to stop this, otherwise the next Parliament could be worse than the current one.”

Shinkay Karokhail, who was elected as an MP in 2005, was re-elected in 2010 and is standing again, admitted that female MPs had failed to form a powerful bloc in Parliament. Some of them regarded themselves “as extra-ordinary,” she said, and it was too early to say whether any of the new batch of candidates would be an improvement.