Skip to main content

Moderate cleric killed in Kashmir bombing

From Mukhtar Ahmad, CNN
Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah was entering a mosque in Srinagar Friday when a makeshift bomb exploded.
Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah was entering a mosque in Srinagar Friday when a makeshift bomb exploded.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah was entering a mosque in Srinagar
  • A makeshift bomb detonated, killing the prominent cleric
  • He had condemned violence against security forces
RELATED TOPICS

Srinagar, India (CNN) -- A makeshift bomb exploded Friday at a mosque in the summer capital of India's portion of Kashmir, killing a prominent Muslim cleric who had been a moderate voice in the troubled Indian state.

Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah was entering the mosque in Srinagar to lead Friday prayers when an improvised explosive device detonated, Srinagar district police chief Ashiq Bukhari said.

Shah was critically wounded and died later in hospital. One other person was injured in the blast, Bukhari said.

Shah had spoken out against violence and condemned the stone-pelting of security forces in protests last year as un-Islamic.

He was a close associate of the Yasin Malik, the president of the moderate pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Separatist violence has gripped Kashmir for more than two decades and claimed over 40,000 lives.

Many residents of Indian Kashmir argue that the territory should have been a part of Pakistan when the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947. India accuses Pakistan of fueling an insurgency in the region.

A wave of protests against Indian presence erupted in violence last year but so far this year, the region had been relatively quiet until Friday's bombing.