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J&K deputy chief minister
survives grenade attack


What is India News Service, July 14, 2004, 1700 hrs IST


Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma escaped unhurt in a grenade attack by militants. Six people, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were injured. 

Sharma was on the way to attend the inauguration of a flyover, Srinagar's first, by chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Militants fired a rifle grenade at Sharma's motorcade around 11.50 a.m. on Tuesday. It fell short of its target and exploded. A girl and two policemen were among those injured. 

Schedule finalised: India and Pakistan fixed July 28 for official-level talks on six of the eight outstanding issues that will complete one round of composite dialogue, but the dates of Foreign Ministers' meeting here are yet to be worked out.

66 killed in floods: Floods continued to wreak havoc in the eastern and northeastern states, claiming 66 lives and affecting more than five million people. Reports said 36 persons have died in Bihar, and 28 in Assam. 

UN envoy in Iraq: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, his special representative to Iraq. Qazi will be based in Baghdad. Qazi beat the Indian contender Salman Haider, and observers say the choice could be prompted by Washington's intent to induct Pakistani troops into Iraq. 

Hijackers can stay: Nine Afghan gunmen who hijacked an airliner four years ago and forced it to fly to London have been told they can stay in Britain.
(Telegraph story, requires free registration).

PM calls Punjab, Haryana for talks: Manmohan Singh has called the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana, Amarinder Singh and Om Prakash Chautala, to find an amicable solution to the sharing of river waters. Punjab  
http://www.hindu.com/2004/07/14/stories/2004071407110100.htm

Support for MMA may grow: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal is a major political force in Pakistan, which also enjoys the support of an increasing number of secular-minded Pakistanis, says a report issued in Washington on Tuesday.

US welcomes peace talks: A senior US official praised India and Pakistan on Tuesday for taking "encouraging efforts" to promote peace in the region. "We have seen positive efforts and encouraging signals leading the region towards peace", he said.

His cautious remarks contrasted sharply with the warmth and enthusiasm of a group of about three dozen youths from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan he was addressing. They were brought to the State Department to share their experiences with diplomats and journalists after they had spent 21 days with each other in America. 
 
Five killed in Taliban raids: Taliban guerillas, who have vowed to disrupt Afghanistan's October 9 election, launched several raids across the south and east. Five people, including a police commander, were killed, officials said on Tuesday.



Overall:

Sharma survived a grenade attack: The J&K deputy chief minister was on his way to the inauguration of Srinagar's first ever flyover. 

Talks date was fixed: Indian and Pakistani officials will meet on July 28 to discuss six remaining issues to complete the first round of composite dialogue.

Flood toll went up: Officials now put the number of people dead at 66.

Taliban raids claimed five:
A police commander was among those killed in anti-election violence.

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