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Grenade blast hits bus station in tense Indian-controlled Kashmir

Indian police inspect the site of the grenade blast in Kashmir [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 7 March, 2019

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A grenade explosion injured 18 people in the disputed region of Kashmir, where tensions have been simmering between India and Pakistan.

At least 18 people have been injured, four critically, after a grenade exploded at a bus station on Thursday in the Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

Tensions have escalated in the region since a suicide bomb explosion killed at least 40 Indian military officers on 14 February in the deadliest attack against Indian forces in Kashmir's history.

India alleged that the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group was behind the suicide bombing, which Islamabad denies.

Reports said the grenade was hurled at the main bus station in Jammu city and rolled beneath a bus, where it exploded.

The injured were taken to a hospital, including at least four who were in critical condition. Police say they are investigating who was responsible.

Eight people were killed in Kashmir over the weekend following clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops on the troubled border - 'line of control' - between the two countries. Two Pakistani soldiers were among those killed when military posts and villages were targeted by both sides.

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals reached a critical point last week when Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan, carrying out what India called a pre-emptive strike against militants.

Pakistan retaliated to the Indian strike by shooting down two Indian aircraft and capturing the pilot identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was then released by Pakistan was a "peace gesture".

Both India and Pakistan claim the region of Kashmir in full but only control parts.

Read also: A year of death, destruction and censorship in Kashmir

The anti-India unrest in India-administrated Kashmir has been on the increase in recent years, especially after a popular rebel leader was killed in 2016.

Last year, more than 550 people - including armed militants, government forces and civilians - were killed, marking the deadliest year in a decade.

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