India

Kashmir: Three dead and more than 20 injured in attack

Indian paramilitary troopers patrol near the Jamia Masjid mosque in Srinagar on September 15, 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The incident took place in Tral, the hometown of militant Burhan Wani, whose death sparked violence in the region last year

Three civilians have been killed and more than 20 injured in a suspected militant attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Police told reporters the target for the grenade attack was a local minister, who managed to escape unhurt.

The attack took place in Tral, the hometown of militant Burhan Wani, whose death last year sparked a deadly wave of violence in the region.

The Kashmir region is claimed by both India and Pakistan in its entirety.

"I am unhurt myself but I am very sad because this claimed two lives. I feel very sad for them," news agency PTI quoted Jammu and Kashmir Minister of Public Works Naeem Akhtar, the reported target, as saying.

He added that a driver was "very critically injured."

The head of the police in the region, SP Vaid, told BBC Urdu that the minister was touring the Tral area to inaugurate a development project when the attack took place.

The blast, which occurred at a bus stand, also injured seven paramilitary troopers. Health officials said that six people are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Srinagar, and two are critical.

Authorities blamed the Hizbul Mujahideen militants for the attack. Tral is a stronghold for the militant group.

However, Hizbul Mujahideen condemned the "dastardly attack" in an emailed statement to a local news gathering agency.

Since 1989, Kashmir has seen an armed revolt in the Muslim-majority region against rule by India.

India blames Pakistan for fuelling the unrest in the region, a claim denied by Islamabad.

Two out of the three wars fought between the two nations were centred on Kashmir.

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