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Capital of Kashmir put under curfew and Sikh extremists hijack an Indian airliner

Nine Sikh extremists hijacked an Indian Airlines plane with 264 people aboard Thursday and forced it to land in Pakistan, where they freed six of their hostages, officials said.

Official reports said the A-300 Airbus landed only minutes before its fuel was about to run out. Radio Pakistan said the hijackers had threatened to blow up the aircraft if permission to land had not been granted.

The hijackers belong to the Kashmir unit of the banned All-India Sikh Students Federation, accused by the government of plotting secession and setting up guerrilla training camps in Kashmir, the United News of India said.

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