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Deadly raid on village in Jammu

From CNN Producer Mukhtar Ahmad and Correspondent Ram Ramgopal

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Kashmir and Jammu (India)
Pakistan
India

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- Gunmen killed 12 people after entering a remote village in the Jammu region and forcing them out of their homes.

Twelve others were wounded in Friday night's shooting, which occurred in the village of Tiali Kathamara near the main town of Surankote, officials said.

Among the dead were 10 men, a woman and child. The men were members of the Village Defense Committee who are armed by the government to protect remote villages near Kashmir's Line of Control.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier Friday, the bodies of an Indian railway engineer and his brother, kidnapped on Wednesday, were recovered in a corn field in the Indian part of Kashmir, local police said.

The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of $111,000 (Indian rupees 5 million) for their safe release.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the incident, although the method of the killing -- throat slitting -- indicates the involvement of Islamic extremists fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, police said.

In a separate incident Friday, an Indian policeman was gunned down by unidentified militants in the town of Bejibehara, 45 km south of Srinagar.

The violence comes ahead of another round of talks between India and Pakistan in New Delhi this weekend.

Both countries have moved rapidly to improve ties in recent months, as part of a fledgling peace process. However, analysts caution that a breakthrough on Kashmir is not likely any time soon.

India controls two-thirds of the region, Pakistan the other third. Each country claims Kashmir as its own. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since 1989, when a separatist movement against Indian rule turned violent.

On Sunday and Monday, the top bureaucrats in both countries' foreign offices will hold wide-ranging talks, including their dispute over Kashmir.

The two countries have fought two full-fledged wars and a limited border conflict over the Himalayan territory.

This round of foreign secretary-level talks will be the first detailed dialog between the two sides in six years.

The foreign secretaries' dialogue forms the bedrock of the relationship between the nuclear rivals.


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