Grenade explosion injures 18 in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) – At least 18 people were injured, four critically, by a grenade blast at a bus station in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir yesterday, police said.

The grenade was hurled at the main bus station in Jammu city and rolled beneath a bus, where it exploded, police said. The injured were taken to a hospital, including at least four who were in critical condition.

Police said they are investigating who was responsible.

In the past, Indian authorities have blamed rebels fighting against Indian rule in the disputed region for similar grenade attacks, often without producing any evidence. Rebels have in turn accused government agents of carrying out the attacks to defame their movement.

Authorities rushed police reinforce-ments to the area and sealed off the road to try to apprehend the grenade-thrower.

Jammu experienced days of protests following a February 14 suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers, the deadliest attack against Indian forces since the start of an armed rebellion in 1989 by mostly residents in the disputed Himalayan region. Hundreds of nationalists attacked neighbourhoods in the city, burning vehicles and hurling rocks at homes. Authorities imposed a curfew for several days in the city.

About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown since 1989.

A sniffer dog and policemen inspect the site of a grenade attack in Jammu, India. – AP