SRINAGAR, May 16: Kashmir’s main militant alliance vowed on Thursday to continue its armed struggle against Indian troops as New Delhi contemplated its response to a bloody attack in the state.

The statement by the United Jihad Council — a conglomerate of over a dozen mujahideen groups — came as Indian ministers and army commanders met to devise a response to Tuesday’s attack by militants on a bus and an army camp in Jammu, which killed 35 people.

“The fight against Indian troops will continue until they no longer occupy the land of Kashmir,” said the statement from the council.

“To give up the armed struggle for unpurposeful political process or dialogue would amount to betraying the sacrifices of 90,000 martyrs,” it added. Indian authorities put the number of people killed in Kashmir’s 13-year-old insurgency at 35,000, but separatists say it is between 80,000 and 100,000.

“The armed struggle was launched only after political means to find a solution to the issue of Kashmir failed miserably,” the statement said. The council warned those who it said were trying to derail the “ongoing freedom struggle by paving way for the upcoming state polls for their personal gains.”—AFP

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