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Muslim Rebels Announce Plans to Disrupt Upcoming Kashmir Talks


Muslim rebels are threatening to disrupt an upcoming peace conference in Indian Kashmir aimed at at resolving the dispute about the territory.

In a joint statement on Saturday, four militant groups (al Nasireen, al Arifeen, Farzandan-e-Milat and Save Kashmir Movement) said they have agreed to create trouble at next week's talks, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In a related development, the leader of a hard-line faction of Indian Kashmir's main separatist alliance is refusing to take part in the conference.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Saturday announced he has rejected an invitation from the prime minister's office.

The two-day conference is set to kick-off May 24th in Srinagar, Indian Kashmir's summer capital.

Moderate separatists are expected to decide Monday whether to participate in the talks.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but it is claimed fully by both. Muslim separatists have been fighting for Kashmir's independence or its merger with Pakistan since 1989.

The violence has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
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