November 8, 2009: In Indian Kashmir, an Islamic terrorist leader, and one of his followers was killed by a black bear. Two other terrorists were wounded, but were able to flee to a nearby village. Although the terrorists were armed with assault rifles, the bear attacked quickly, and at night, and the men were unable to use their weapons in the restricted confines of the cave. Apparently the bear was going to use the cave to hibernate in, and was upset to find that the terrorists had moved in. The four terrorists thought the cave was abandoned, and a good place to hide out in.
The Asiatic Black Bear is related to the American black bear, but is larger (up to 400 pounds for an older male), and is much more aggressive towards humans. The Asiatic bear has a more powerful jaw, and bigger claws. The smaller American black bear usually flees humans, although they have been known to attack and kill small children. In the Americas, and parts of Eurasia, the larger (half a ton) brown bear, especially the American Grizzly, is the most dangerous bear for humans. American brown bears are more aggressive towards humans than the Eurasian cousins. It is the black bear you have to be wary of in Eurasia.
All black bears can climb trees, which makes it more difficult for fleeing humans. If travelling in woods that contain bears, the safest thing to do is take along someone you can outrun. The European black bears are vegetarians (unless very hungry, in which case they will eat meat), and a big pest to farmers located near forests (where black bears prefer to live). The black bear, of several types, is native all of Eurasia, from Europe to Japan.
The black bear population in Kashmir has become more of a problem over the last twenty years, because the Indian police disarmed the rural Moslem population. Police are now called in to kill bears that become a nuisance. In the past, the rural folk would often hunt the Black Bears, because some of their body parts are very valuable (to folk medicine practitioners, especially in China.) Those parts could be worth $2,000 or more. The pelts are very warm, and Kashmir gets very cold in the Winter. It is believed that other Islamic terrorists have come to grief after encounters with black bears in the large forested areas that make up so much of Kashmir. But in these other cases, there were no survivors, and the bodies were never found. Several small groups of Islamic terrorists have simply disappeared in the hills, and the local black bears are the top predator in the area.