Ex­plo­sion rips through mosque com­plex in Kash­mir, in­jur­ing 9

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST - BY AI­JAZ HUS­SAIN

An ex­plo­sion tore through a mosque com­plex in the in­sur­gency-wracked In­dian por­tion of Kash­mir early Thurs­day, wound­ing nine wor­ship­pers, po­lice said.

The ex­plo­sive de­vice went off as peo­ple were fil­ing out of the mosque’s main prayer hall in the vil­lage of Trenz, about 60 kilo­me­ters (40 miles) south of Sri­na­gar, the main city in In­dian-held por­tion of the dis­puted ter­ri­tory, po­lice of­fi­cer Syed Javaid Mu­jtaba Gil­lani said.

No one has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity, and Gil­lani said po­lice would not spec­u­late who was be­hind the at­tack.

While vi­o­lence tied to an­tiIn­dia rebels has es­ca­lated in re­cent weeks, Thurs­day’s blast was con­sid­ered rare as there have been very few at­tacks near Mus­lim places of wor­ship. Rebels have been fight­ing since 1989 for Kash­mir’s in­de­pen­dence or merger with Pak­istan, which con­trols another por­tion of the ter­ri­tory in the west.

Those wounded in Thurs­day’s blast were rushed to a hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing four with mul­ti­ple shrap­nel wounds.

One of them, 75- year- old Ab­dul Gani Dar, said the ex­plo­sion came from a drink­ing glass that had been ly­ing out­side the en­trance to the mosque’s main prayer hall.

“When a care­taker went to pick it up, the glass ex­ploded with a deaf­en­ing sound,” Dar said.

Also on Thurs­day, po­lice de­fused another sim­i­lar de­vice out­side the home of a com­man­der of Hizbul Mu­ja­hedeen, the largest mil­i­tant group in the In­dian por­tion of Kash­mir, Gil­lani said.

Late Wed­nes­day, in­sur­gents staged two at­tacks. In Trenz, mil­i­tants wounded an In­dian army soldier who was trav­el­ing with other sol­diers in a car in the ru­ral area. In Sri­na­gar, mean­while, rebels threw a grenade at gov­ern­ment forces out­side a po­lice sta­tion and in­jured at least three po­lice and a paramil­i­tary soldier.

Gov­ern­ment f or­ces have stepped up se­cu­rity pa­trols across the mostly Mus­lim ter­ri­tory ahead of In­dia’s In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions on Satur­day, which many in Kash­mir use to protest In­dian rule. Road­blocks lined with ra­zor wire were caus­ing huge traf­fic jams in Sri­na­gar.

In­dia ac­cuses Pak­istan of arm­ing and train­ing the in­sur­gents, a charge Is­lam­abad de­nies. More than 68,000 peo­ple have died in the con­flict since 1989, while In­dia and Pak­istan ear­lier fought two wars over con­trol of the ter­ri­tory.

AP

An el­derly Kash­miri man is car­ried on a stretcher for treat­ment at a hos­pi­tal in Sri­na­gar, In­dian-con­trolled Kash­mir, Thurs­day, Aug. 13.

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