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Suicide squad storms Red Fort, kills 3 jawans
A suicide squad, suspectedly belonging to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, struck at the high security Red Fort late in the night on Friday killing three Army jawans and injuring two. The two militants barged into the sensitive area, catching unawares the jawans of the Rajputana Rifles and the Jat Regiment inside the premises.

Curtains for women's bill?
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today virtually sounded the death-knell for the Women's Reservation Bill saying the Government would try to build a consensus on ``other ways'' to increase representation of women even as the last 15 minutes of the winter session witnessed a stand-off between him and the Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Sonia Gandhi.

Hizb leaders demand meaningful talks
After a prolonged silence over the ceasefire and its subsequent extension, developments a group of Hizb-ul- Mujahideen leaders appeared at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar today and vowed to fight against any ``sell-out'' on Kashmir. The group's chief commander (operations), Mr. Abdul Majid Dar, termed the India and Pakistan initiatives ``sincere and important''.

'India has to talk to Pak.'
India has little option but to talk to Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir conflict, the Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has said.

A week's holiday for Rly Ministry?
The Railway Ministry will virtually come to a standstill for a week beginning from tomorrow. Almost the entire brass of the Railway Ministry would be devoting its collective talent to stage a two-hour meeting of the Hindi Consultative Committee in Thiruvananthapuram on December 27. The meeting is being held at the insistence of a politician fond of water sports and the seashore.

Military launches attack on Jaffna
Sri Lanka today said the month-long ceasefire declared by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam could be a ``productive exercise'' but it reserved the right to respond with caution in the interests of national security.

Three cricketers likely to be stripped of award
The Government today said it was considering withdrawal of Arjuna awards conferred on three cricketers - Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar - and had given them 15 days' time to state their position as they have been accused in the match-fixing.

16 killed in Assam
Sixteen persons, including 10 Bhutanese woollen garment sellers, were shot dead and another was injured by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland militants in the lower Assam districts of Barpeta, Darrang and Nalbari last night , according to official sources.

Arafat sees active role for India
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Palestinian President, Mr. Yasser Arafat, has made a case for India's active help at regional and international levels to resolve the present crisis resulting from Israel's ``aggression''.


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