Nine Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir mine blast
Nine Indian soldiers were killed in a mine
blast triggered by suspected Islamic militants in Jammu and Kashmir state on
Saturday, an Indian Army spokesman said.
Unconfirmed reports said more than 20 soldiers may have been killed in the blast on the Srinagar-Baramulla road near Narbal Chowk, 14 kilometres north of the state capital Srinagar.
The blast was triggered as an army convoy passed, the official said. One of the vehicles in the convoy was severely damaged. At least 13 soldiers were seriously injured, the official said.
Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, had claimed responsibility for the attack in calls to local media offices.
An estimated 40,000 people, including civilians, militants and security personnel, have been killed in a violent secessionist movement in India-administered Kashmir since 1990.
India accuses neighbouring Pakistan of aiding and abetting Kashmiri secessionist militants. Pakistan denies the allegations, saying the Kashmiri militants are freedom fighters.
The disputed region is divided into two parts - one administered by India and the other by Pakistan.
India and Pakistan are engaged in a dialogue to resolve all disputes including that over Kashmir. The foreign secretaries of the two countries are scheduled to meet in New Delhi on Monday for a fifth round of discussions, dpa reported.