Kashmir Rebels Mutilate Girl

Guerrillas on Monday chopped off the ears, nose and tongue of a teenage girl they suspected of helping police, while at least nine other people were killed in separate violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir (search).

The girl was held captive for eight days before the rebels abandoned her in a field outside the village of Manoh, 190 miles southwest of Srinagar, the capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state, police said.

Also, five schoolchildren — riding a bus to a school picnic — were wounded in crossfire between Indian soldiers and suspected rebels who attacked an army convoy on a highway outside Srinagar, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Mukhtiar Singh said. Three soldiers also were wounded.

A powerful blast Monday night at Nishat, a neighborhood near Kashmir's famous Nishat Garden (search), killed one man and wounded eight others, police said.

Several of the injured were workers who had come from outside Kashmir. The explosive was placed along the wall of a house rented by the workers, he said.

Also Monday, border guards killed three suspected Islamic rebels before they could cross a barbed wire fence about a mile inside Indian territory in Kashmir, an army spokesman said.

India plans to complete the fence — which stretches along 360 miles of the 465-mile boundary — by September to keep Islamic fighters from Pakistan (search) out of Indian territory.

Insurgents also exploded a grenade outside a mosque in Handwara, a town close to the disputed border with Pakistan, killing one civilian and one policeman, police said. Eighteen civilians and a policeman were wounded.

Also Monday, two suspected rebels were killed in a clash with government soldiers in Dogarpora, 65 miles north of Srinagar, while another suspected insurgent died after a shootout with the Indian army in the village of Kangan.

Dozens of rebel groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 65,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict.