Seven killed in Kashmir
SRINAGAR: A grenade thrown by suspected militants killed two Indian troops and injured six others Thursday in the first attack in more than three months in Held Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, police said.
Five other people, including a father and son, were also killed in separate separatist-related incidents in the occupied region.
The grenade was thrown at a small truck carrying troops from India’s Border Security Force (BSF) in Lal Chowk. Two BSF troops were killed and six others injured, police said. The truck caught fire after being hit by the grenade and firefighters struggled for more than 20 minutes to extinguish the flames.
The attack came despite stepped-up security ahead of India’s Independence Day on August 15, generally a day of tension in Held Kashmir. Although there have been regular killings across Held Kashmir, Srinagar has been relatively quiet since Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited the city on April 18 and offered a ‘hand of friendship’ to Pakistan.
Elsewhere on Thursday, four civilians were injured in a grenade explosion in the northern town of Baramulla, 55 km northwest of Srinagar, police said.
The explosion was 500 metres away from a building where senior state minister Qazi Mohammed Afzal was present, but police said a security force picket was the main target.
Suspected militants meanwhile killed Mohammed Akbar Gojri, 65, and his son Bashir Ahmed after abducting them from their home in the hilly Laam area, on the outskirts of Tral township, 40 km south of Srinagar, police said. Meanwhile, Indian troops shot dead three militants Thursday in different shoot-outs, one at Zakura, on the outskirts of Srinagar, police said.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Watch International, a Britain-based human rights organisation, has expressed concern over disappearances of more than 60 persons in police custody in Held Kashmir since Mufti Muhammad Saeed came into power in the held region.
Meanwhile, Indian troops announced they had killed a senior commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in a fierce gunbattle Thursday in the southern Doda district.
A cache of arms and ammunition, rations, battery chargers and a power generator set were found in the militant stronghold, the officials said. —AFP/APP