India-Pakistan: March 7, 2003


Rebel mortar shells in northeastern India set a refinery on fire. 

In Kashmir, 25 Indian troops and porters were killed in an avalanche in the higher portions (about 20,000 feet) of the border with Pakistan. Such deaths are common each Winter. At least four men injured in the avalanche were rescued, and ten bodies recovered.

In Pakistan's Baluchistan, seven suspected al Qaeda members were killed in s shoot out with soldiers searching for Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden, and/or other senior al Qaeda members, are thought to be hiding in Baluchistan, near where the Afghan and Pakistan borders meet. This search was triggered by information found when al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed  was captured on March 1sr. The Baluchi tribes are similar to the Pushtun ones; warlike and favoring conservative Islam. Some of the Baluchi and Pushtun tribes have branches across the border in Iran. Moreover, members of the Iranian government (Islamic radicals) support terrorist activity and have been known to provide sanctuary for al Qaeda members. So it's likely that bin Laden could move between the three countries to different hideouts. The $25 million reward for bin Laden's capture is less useful out in the countryside, where most people either don't know about the reward, or can't understand how it would work. The captured Egyptian terrorist who gave up  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a city boy and knew how to deal. He not only got the $25 million, but an additional two million dollars to move his extended family to Britain.


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