Ten die in Kashmir clashes

At least 10 people have been killed in separate clashes across Indian Kashmir and 13 commuters have been wounded in a grenade blast at a bus stand in the south of the Himalayan state, according to Kashmir police.

    Indian forces are battling over a dozen separatist groups

    The 13 were wounded when unidentified assailants hurled a hand grenade at a crowded bus stand late on Wednesday in the southern Kashmir town of Anantnag, 55km from the summer capital of Srinagar, police said on Wednesday.

    Indian troops launched a hunt for the attackers and rushed the injured to hospitals, a police officer said, adding that three of the victims were in critical condition.

    Elsewhere, Indian troops killed four suspected Muslim fighters in separate gun battles earlier on Wednesday near the Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

    On Tuesday, suspected separatists barged into a house in the state's Udhampur district and killed three members of a Muslim family, while two members of a volunteer paramilitary force supported by Indian troops were shot dead by rebels in Budgam district.

    Explosive device

    Separately, a civilian was killed by suspected fighters on Tuesday in Rajouri district, police said.

    Aljazeera.net's Yusuf Jameel reports quoting police in Kashmir's capital Srinagar that an improvised explosive device weighing about 150kg was detected and defused on Wednesday in a city suburb a before it could cause any human loss.

    Kashmiri Muslim police personnel
    are often targeted by fighters

    The device, rigged to a three-wheeler, had been parked in the Idgah-Noorbagh area before a column of paramilitary security  personnel moved in to patrol the neighbourhood streets.

    Another improvised explosive device was found near a Muslim cemetery in Bandipore town in the northwestern Kashmir, police said. "It too was detected and defused before it could be triggered off," said a police official.

    On Tuesday, Kashmiri cleric Mufti Bashiruddin made a passionate appeal to both Muslim fighters and Indian security forces to observe a truce during Ramadan.

    "It would be a great service to Islam and Muslims if a ceasefire during Ramadan is announced by those who say they are fighting for the cause of religion."

    Plea for restraint

    Bashiruddin said: "If they do, they still reserve the right to defend themselves when attacked. But even while defending themselves, they must observe self-restraint and not retaliate to kill."

    The grand mufti hoped that New Delhi too would consider a ceasefire in Kashmir during the month of fasting.

    Kashmir has been in the grip of a separatist uprising from Indian rule since 1989 that has left more than 44,000 people dead by official count. Separatists say the death toll is twice as high.

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

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.