Policemen Injured In Landmine Blast In Kashmir19 January 2010
Srinagar: A landmine explosion has injured six policemen in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said. The incident took place in Tral township, 40km (25 miles) south of the summer capital, Srinagar. Police said the mine was planted on an iron bridge. The explosion was very powerful and shook nearby buildings, as well as damaging the bridge. The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says there has been a sudden surge in violence in Kashmir. This has coincided with the souring of relations between India and Pakistan, he says. India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in its entirety and have fought two wars over it. Flashpoint The police vehicle had just passed by when the explosion happened, officials said. Violence in Kashmir has decreased since 2004 when India and Pakistan signed a peace treaty. But in recent weeks there have been outbreaks of fighting. A 20-year insurgency against Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir has claimed more than 47,000 lives since 1990. Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than 50 years and the scene of two of their three wars. India has accused Pakistan of pushing armed militants across the line of control - the de facto border which divides Kashmir between the South Asian neighbours - into Indian-administered Kashmir. The two countries suspended talks on Kashmir and other disputes after the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. Indian authorities say they expect more violence in the region in coming days. Security has been tightened across the state ahead of India's Republic Day celebrated on 26 January. The separatists have called for a shutdown in the Kashmir Valley on that day.