Six soldiers wounded in explosion in Kashmir

Suspected Islamic guerrillas triggered an explosion Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir , wounding six paramilitary soldiers, while a gunfight elsewhere in the region left two suspected militants dead, officials said. An improvised device exploded in Balochpore, a suburb of Srinagar , hitting a paramilitary truck and wounding six security men traveling in it, said Dalip Singh, a spokesman of Central Reserve Police Force.

Singh blamed the explosion on Islamic militants fighting for Kashmir 's independence, or its merger with Pakistan . Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen, the largest Kashmiri rebel group, claimed responsibility in a telephone call to a local news agency, Current News Service.

The condition of one trooper was serious, said Riyaz Rangrez, a doctor at the hospital where the wounded were being treated. Separately, two suspected militants were killed in a gun battle near Shopiyan village after soldiers raided a rebel hide-out early Friday, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Srinagar, police officer Imtiyaz Ahmad said. The 16-year Islamic insurgency in Jammu-Kashmir , India 's only Muslim-majority state, has claimed more than 67,000 lives, reports the AP.


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