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Kashmir riots over planned execution of terrorist

ISLAMIC rebels warned yesterday of “dire consequences” if India executes a Kashmiri Muslim convicted over a 2001 attack on parliament, amid a paralysing protest strike in Indian Kashmir’s main city and a third day of clashes between demonstrators and police.

The turmoil erupted in the Muslim-majority state after a New Delhi judge ordered that Mohammed Afzal, found guilty last month of helping to mastermind the attack, should be hanged on October 20.

“We warn of dire consequences if the death sentence is carried out,” said Sadaqat Hussain, a spokesperson for the United Jihad Council, Indian Kashmir’s main militant alliance which is battling New Delhi’s rule in Srinagar.

Shops, businesses and schools closed in the city to protest against the planned execution.

The assault on parliament in December 2001 left 14 dead, including the attackers, and brought nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

India blamed Pakistan-backed militants for the attack, which Islamabad denied. - Sapa-AFP

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