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Tension in PoK over sectarian violence, rape of woman

July 31, 2005 20:05 IST

Sectarian violence and the rape of a woman, allegedly by Pakistan army officials, have set off tension in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), according to international and Pakistani media reports.

Three army officials of the Mujahid Batallion allegedly raped a woman at a village, 62 km from Muzaffarabad, when she had gone to collect some firewood from jungles, the British Broadcasting Corporation's Urdu service reported.

After widespread protests from villagers, police finally registered a case against unnamed army officials, the report said. As the news of the rape spread, United Kashmir Peoples' National Party joined the villagers in the protest.

However, its leader Irshad Ahmed was attacked by some militants of Hizbul Mujahideen near Neelum Valley. This led to a blockade by the UKPNP activists which was lifted only after the 3 Hizbul Mujahideen militants were arrested by the police, a press release of the UKPNP said.

In nearby Gilgit area, sectarian violence has been growing manifold during the last seven months, the Pakistan daily 'The Nation' reported.


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