Five people were killed and at least 30 injured in a series of grenade attacks by suspected separatist rebels in Kashmir’s capital Srinagar today.
There were also two attacks in the main mosque in the Indian capital Delhi which injured at least 13 people, but there were no claims of responsibility
In Srinagar, police said all of those killed were civilians – three women and two men who died of their injuries at the main hospital.
Security forces fanned out across the city after the blasts, stopping cars and frisking people as they hurried home.
The blasts began when a grenade was hurled at an Indian paramilitary truck passing through one of the main thoroughfares in Srinagar, injuring two soldiers.
Minutes later, a grenade attack on Hari Singh High Street, a busy road in Srinagar, the summer capital of India’s Jammu-Kashmir state, killed a young Nepalese woman and a young Kashmiri man and injured six other people.
Two policemen were injured in a fourth grenade explosion at the city’s main bus station that set a police jeep on fire. Another occurred in a neighbourhood near the bus station.
The fifth attack was at Dal Gate, a promenade by the Dal Lake frequented by tourists and lined by hotels and restaurants. Three people were killed and eight injured.
The five blasts occurred hours before the Friday Muslim prayers that draw thousands of people.
Prayer ceremonies went ahead unhindered.
The attacks happened over about one hour, and in a radius of about two miles of the city centre.
Hours later, a sixth grenade exploded in the Sekidafar neighbourhood of eastern Srinagar, injuring at least nine people, including five policemen.
After nightfall, yet another attack took place in Srinagar’s old city, when suspected militants lobbed grenades, apparently at a passing police patrol, injuring two policemen and one civilian, said Farooq Zargar, a local police officer.
A local news agency, Current News Service reported that four Islamic rebel groups separately claimed responsibility for the earlier attacks. The groups include Jamiat-ul-Mujahedeen, Al-Mansurain, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Islamic Front.
Various Islamic militant groups have been fighting Indian security forces in the insurgency-hit state of Jammu-Kashmir since 1989 to create a separate homeland or merge the Himalayan region into Pakistan.