Bomb goes off on Kashmir bus route

A bomb has exploded, injuring three people, and two other explosives have been defused on the route of the first India-Pakistan bus across Kashmir in advance of its inauguration this week.

    Police normally maintain round-the-clock surveillance of the road

    A police source said three civilians were injured in the explosion on Tuesday at Hanjivira village, about 35km north of Srinagar, capital of the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir.

     

    The explosive was placed along the highway that will be taken on Thursday by the inaugural service of a passenger bus between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir. 

    The blast occurred soon after a bomb squad defused two powerful bombs - one 70kg, the other 60kg - placed in plastic bags along the same highway in nearby Palhalan.

    "Troops detected two roadside landmines buried under soil at Palhalan, which were defused later," a police spokesman said.

    "The mines were very powerful. The troops have averted a major tragedy."

    Reuniting families

    The bus has been hailed as a way of reuniting families divided after the partition of the state in 1947 by a de facto ceasefire border known as the Line of Control.

    But groups fighting a 15-year war of attrition in the India zone of the divided state, earlier this week labelled the bus a "coffin", and urged Kashmiris to shun the service.

    The road is used daily by hundreds of civilian and military
    vehicles, and p

    olice maintain round-the-clock surveillance.

    SOURCE: AFP


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