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Kashmir grenade attack wounds 19

There has been a surge of violence in Kashmir over the last month.
There has been a surge of violence in Kashmir over the last month.

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(CNN) -- A grenade attack on a bus stop in Indian-controlled Kashmir Tuesday has left 19 people wounded, police say.

Six members of an Indian paramilitary group were among those injured police said, blaming the attack on Muslim militants.

The attack occurred about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir state, as members of India's Central Reserve Police Force were checking the road for explosive devices.

The attack comes a day after the Indian army reported a shootout along the Line of Control dividing Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir that left 15 Islamic militants dead.

Officials said the militants were trying to cross into India when they were engaged by the army.

A military spokesman told news agencies the group was trying to join separatist rebels who have been fighting Indian rule, and is one of the biggest bids to enter their territory in recent months.

The clash comes amid a surge of violence in the disputed state over the last month, even as India and Pakistan embark on a series of tentative peace steps, including resuming a cross-border bus service and opening talks on air links.

More than a dozen guerrilla groups have been battling Indian rule in Kashmir almost since independence from Britain and the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

Indian officials estimate 38,000 people have been killed during the 11-year military insurgency and blame Pakistan for stoking the conflict, a charge Islamabad denies.

India says Pakistan trains, arms and funds the militants and orders them to attack Indian military and civilian targets.

Pakistan says it only extends moral support to groups campaigning for the Kashmiri people's right to self-determination.

The two countries -- both of whom tested nuclear weapons in 1998 -- have fought three wars since independence from Britain, two of them over Kashmir.

Last year the two sides stood on the brink of war following an attack on India's parliament building that New Delhi blamed on Islamic militant groups backed by Pakistan.


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