May 30, 2006

Policeman killed, four wounded in Kashmir attack

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - A policeman was killed and four
people, including two civilians, were wounded in Indian Kashmir
on Tuesday after suspected Islamist militants threw a grenade
at a police vehicle near a crowded market, police said.

The attack in the heart of Srinagar, the state's summer
capital, came as Indian and Pakistani officials were to begin
talks in Islamabad on terrorism and the trafficking of drugs
and people.

"Panic gripped the area after the vehicle caught fire due
to the explosion," an official said.

A spokesman of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant
group claimed responsibility for the attack in calls to local

Militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, divided between
the South Asian nuclear rivals but claimed in full by both,
have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks.

More than 45,000 people have been killed since a separatist
revolt broke out in 1989 in Jammu and Kashmir, mainly Hindu
India's only Muslim-majority state.