Militant Attack On Kashmir Rally Kills 2, Wounds 60
15 November 2005
Srinagar: Suspected Muslim militants threw a grenade and opened fire at a political rally in Indian Kashmir on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding at least 60, including a former state minister, police said. The attack took place near Tangmarg, 45 km (30 miles) west of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir where Muslim militants are fighting New Delhi's rule since 1989. 'People were writhing around me covered in blood,' Sanam Tasaduq, a witness, told Reuters. Hundreds of people were at the rally organised by the People's Democratic Party (PDP), a partner of the ruling Congress party-led coalition in Jammu and Kashmir. 'At the end of the rally, militants lobbed a grenade and fired,' Indian Kashmir police chief Gopal Sharma told a news conference in Srinagar. Police said the wounded included two senior police officers and former Jammu and Kashmir state tourism minister Ghulam Hassan Mir. Many of the wounded were in serious condition. Last month, Mir's close associate and Kashmir's junior education minister, Ghulam Nabi Lone, was killed in a raid by militants on his home in Srinagar. Tuesday's attack came a day after militants struck at a police picket and killed two federal troopers. 'We have arrested one suicide attacker and another was shot dead,' Sharma said referring to Monday's attack. Violence has continued in Kashmir, the cause of two of three India-Pakistan wars, despite a slow-moving peace process between Islamabad and New Delhi. New Delhi says that investigations into a series of bomb blasts in New Delhi last month, which killed 66 people, had shown the attackers had 'external linkages'. Indian police suspect the bombs were the handiwork of Pakistan-based Islamic militants. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf after the attacks that Islamabad needed to do more to stop anti-Indian violence from Pakistani territory. The two countries have opened four crossing points across their militarised Kashmir frontier to facilitate relief for victims of the Oct. 8 earthquake, which killed over 75,000 people. They are scheduled to open a fifth point on Wednesday. At least 45,000 people have died in Kashmir since the Muslim separatist revolt broke out 16 years ago.