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DATE=7/31/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA - KASHMIR (L-O) UPDATE NUMBER=2-264979 BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: ///// UPS CASUALTY NUMBERS. ///// INTRO: Separatist militants in Indian-administered Kashmir have attacked an Army camp, killing six soldiers and wounding seven others. The incident comes just days after one leading separatist group and the Indian army declared a cease-fire. V-O-A's Jim Teeple reports from New Delhi. TEXT: The Pakistan-based militant group, Lakshar-e- Toiba claimed responsibility for the attack which took place late Sunday on an army transit camp at Bandipora - about 70-kilometers from Srinigar, the summer capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state. A spokesman for the group says the attack was in retaliation for a cease-fire declared last week by another militant group Hezbul-Mujahadeen - the largest such group fighting Indian forces in Kashmir. The cease-fire declared last week by Hezbul-Mujahadeen caught both Indian security forces and political leaders in New Delhi by surprise. Indian army commanders in Kashmir quickly agreed to match the cease-fire offer and army officials say since then there has been no fighting between their forces and militants belonging to Hezbul-Mujahadeen. Commodore Uday Bhaskar is an active duty Indian Navy officer and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in New Delhi. Commodore Bhaskar, who closely follows the Kashmir question, says other militant groups might actually increase their attacks because of the cease-fire. // BHASKAR ACT // It is a very tangled picture. It is embedded in layers of history and competing interests. There are many militant-cum terrorist groups that are operating. The offer made by Hizbul- Mujahadeen to have a cease-fire for three-months is something that has caused a fair amount of consternation and dismay among a large number of militant groups. // END ACT // // OPT // An estimated 30-thousand people have died over the past decade in separatist violence in Kashmir. Tensions over the region also brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war last year after armed guerrillas crossed into Indian Kashmir from Pakistan to occupy strategic mountain peaks in the Kargil region of the state. The fighters only withdrew after Pakistan asked them to. Pakistan's request followed intense U-S pressure on then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. // END OPT // There are conflicting reports about whether Hizbul Mujahadeen plans to send negotiators to talk with Indian officials about joining talks aimed at achieving a lasting peaceful solution in Kashmir. Hizbul commanders say no talks can take place unless India agrees to allow Pakistan to join the discussions - something Indian officials have ruled out. India has agreed to hold talks with separatist political leaders in Kashmir and in recent days senior Indian officials say the talks can take place without any pre-conditions. (SIGNED) NEB/JT/RAE 31-Jul-2000 10:28 AM EDT (31-Jul-2000 1428 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .