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Patten Offers Condolences After Kashmir Massacre

Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations, has written to the External Affairs Minister of India, Yashwant Sinha, to express his horror at the assassination of 24 innocent villagers, including many women and children, in South Kashmir this week.

He said that this had been an appalling act of terrorist violence, which the Commission condemned without reservation. He offered condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, as well as to the Government of India. The Commissioner stressed that the European Union and India stood side by side in their common fight against terrorism, "and even more so after such an atrocity."

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also condemned the massacre in the strongest terms, calling it a "cowardly act of terrorism." The killing of 24 Kashmiri Hindus took place near the town of Shopian. The Secretary-General has sent his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

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