Policeman killed in Kashmir grenade attack hours after Modi's visit

Apr 02 2017

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A policeman walks and as paramilitary soldiers guards at a closed market during a strike in Srinagar. ─AP
A policeman walks and as paramilitary soldiers guards at a closed market during a strike in Srinagar. ─AP

A grenade explosion killed a police officer and injured 10 other security personnel in India-held Kashmir on Sunday, police said, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the tense region.

The suspected militants lobbed a grenade at a group of police and paramilitary troops in the main city of Srinagar following protests against Modi's visit.

“Four personnel of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and seven policemen were injured in the grenade blast,” Bhuvesh Choudhary, spokesman of the paramilitary CRPF said.

One of the police officers who was wounded in the blast later died of his injuries, inspector general Javid Gillani told AFP.

Armed encounters between security forces and rebels fighting to end Indian rule over Kashmir have become more frequent since massive protests last year, sparked by the killing in July of a popular militant leader.

Large parts of the Kashmir valley observed a virtual shutdown Sunday following a call by separatists protesting Modi's visit.

At a rally, Modi urged Kashmiri youth to choose “tourism over terrorism”, inaugurating an 11-kilometre tunnel across the Himalayas intended to ease travel in the disputed region.

“This bloody game could not do any good to anyone during the last forty years,” he said.

The two-lane road tunnel, India's longest, will cut the travelling distance between the region's two main cities of Jammu and Srinagar by 41 kilometres, bypassing stretches that often shut due to heavy snowfall and landslides.