25 killed in car bombing in Indian Kashmir

Indian security forces killed 25 people in Kashmir on Thursday, police said on Thursday, the deadliest since 2002.

"The death toll was 25," police officer Munir Ahmed Khan told AFP, without giving further details.

The first toll was the death of 12 soldiers.

The Press Trust of India, for its part, said the attack killed at least 39 people.

"Depending on the condition of the damaged vehicles, the toll could rise," a senior police official, who declined to be identified, told AFP.

The attack targeted two blue buses carrying at least 35 passengers on a highway about 20 kilometers from Srinagar. The blast was heard 12 kilometers from the site of the attack.

The attack was the bloodiest in Indian Kashmir for more than two years. Nineteen soldiers were killed in September 2016 during an attack on the Indian military camp of Uri.

The group claimed responsibility for the attack, local media quoted a statement by the Jamaat-e-Islami Islamic Group in Pakistan as saying.

The pictures, whose source was not confirmed, showed the remains of at least seven vehicles scattered along the highway near blue military buses.

The Press Trust of India reported that some of the bodies had been completely ripped apart.

India has deployed 500,000 troops in Kashmir divided between India and Pakistan and has been in a state of tension since the end of British colonialism in 1947.

A separatist insurgency has been raging in Indian Kashmir since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of supporting infiltrations and armed rebellion, but Islamabad denies this.


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