JAMMU, India - Suspected Islamist militants killed a villager in Indian Kashmir by slitting his throat and cut off the tongues and noses of four others, accusing them of being police informers, authorities said yesterday.
The attackers also beat up seven other villagers and set several houses ablaze late on Wednesday in a remote village near Mahore town, 65km northeast of Jammu city, the Indian state's winter capital.
"It is a mountainous village and it takes six hours on foot to reach there from the nearest road link," said a police officer.
"These foreign militants are ruthless," he said, referring to guerrillas India say are Islamists who cross into its part of Kashmir from Pakistan, and sometimes even Afghanistan.
Villagers in the area said the attackers were probably acting out of revenge, suspecting the locals of informing the police about the presence of a militant who was killed in the area in April.
There has been a spike in violence in the disputed Himalayan region since the onset of summer - which allows militants to move easily through mountain passes otherwise blocked by snow - and the launch of fresh peace moves by New Delhi.
More than 45,000 people have been killed since a separatist revolt broke out in 1989 in Jammu and Kashmir, mainly Hindu India's only Muslim-majority state which is also claimed by Pakistan.