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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

India: No Release

NEW DELHI () -- India has said it will not release guerrillas in exchange for five Western hostages being held by separatists in the troubled Himalayan valley of Kashmir, according to the Press Trust of India.

"There is no question of releasing any militants in exchange," the news agency quoted K. Padmanabiah, the most senior civil servant in the Home Ministry, as saying Monday. It was the first public statement by a senior official on the subject.

An American, a German, a Norwegian and two Britons were kidnapped by the mysterious Al-Faran group near Pahalgam, 90 kilometers from Srinagar, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The group has threatened to kill them unless 20 guerrillas are freed.