A Muslim separatist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, said on Thursday that she had blown herself up near an Indian army vehicle.

A Jaish spokesman calling himself Abu Qadama said that the bomber called Hafsa was an important member of Banaat ul-Aisha, the women’s wing of the group.

 

The caller claimed that the attack was "successful" as six Indian army personnel were killed. But the army and also the local police strongly denied it and said nobody was hurt.

Police said the woman was travelling to a major highway connecting Srinagar to the city of Jammu to plant the improvised explosive device when it exploded.

The explosion occurred in Awantipora, 30km south of the capital city Srinagar, the spokesman said.

A new trend?

Separatists have used women members for transporting arms and explosives in Kashmir, but have never used them as human bombs.

Kashmir is in the grip of a
16-year-old uprising

Meanwhile, suspected separatists shot dead two Muslim civilians in southern Pulwama and Rajouri districts on Thursday, a police statement said.

And Indian troops killed three rebels in two gunbattles in two more southern districts of Doda and Poonch.

Kashmir's main rebel alliance, the United Jihad Council, on Monday announced that separatist operations had been suspended in regions affected by Saturday's devastating earthquake, which killed 25,000 in neighbouring Pakistan and more than 1300 in India.

Indian-administered Kashmir is in the grip of a 16-year-old uprising that has so far left thousands dead.

Aljazeera.net's correspondent in Srinagar, Yusuf Jameel, contributed to this report