Kashmir car bomb kills 40; India demands Pakistan act against militants

Kashmir car bomb kills 40; India demands Pakistan act against militants

Kashmir car bomb kills 40; India demands Pakistan act against militants

Written by Reuters

15 Feb, 2019 | 11:19 am

Reuters – A suicide bomber rammed a car into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on Thursday (February 14), killing 40 of them in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in the disputed region, raising tensions with arch-foe Pakistan.

The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. The Indian government accused Pakistan of letting militant groups operate from its soil and called on it to take action. Islamabad said it rejected the suggestion it was linked to the attack.

India’s Junior Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh said, no perpetrator or supporter of the attack will be spared.

Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan. The neighbours both rule parts of the region while claiming the entire territory as theirs.

The explosion targeting a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was heard from several miles away, according to witnesses.

“We demand that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement, hours after the attack.

Islamabad has previously denied New Delhi’s accusations that it gives material help to the militants fighting Indian rule in Muslim-majority Kashmir. It says it gives only moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination.

The Central Reserve Force Police is a paramilitary organization that is working with the Indian military to quell the 30-year insurgency in Kashmir.

Indian forces have sporadically battled Islamist militants in mountainous Kashmir since an armed revolt in 1989 in which tens of thousands were killed, but car bombings are rare.The last major attack in Kashmir was in 2016 when militants raided an Indian army camp in Uri, killing 20 soldiers.

Tension with Pakistan rose after that incident when New Delhi said the attackers had come from Pakistan to stage the assault. Pakistan denied any involvement.

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