Grenade attacks in held Kashmir leave two dead

An Indian policeman patrols near the site of an explosion at a market in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Police said at least three civilians were injured in an explosion outside a restaurant in Srinagar, the main city in the disputed region. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

SRINAGAR: At least two people were killed in grenade attacks in occupied Kashmir on Tuesday and two fighters were shot dead by Indian forces, officials said, in one of the region’s most violent days since New Delhi imposed a security clampdown there.

The Indian government shut down internet and phone lines and flooded the disputed region with security personnel to back its Aug 5 move to strip occupied Kashmir of its autonomous status and impose tighter central control.

Amid heightened tensions, suspected Kashmiri fighters carried out two grenade attacks on Tuesday, a top police official said.

One was thrown at a group of village councillors and government officials waiting outside an administration building in the village of Hakura, south of Srinagar. The police official said two people were killed and at least four injured.

The second grenade was lobbed into a store next to an entrance to the University of Kashmir in Srinagar, injuring three people, the official added.

The attacks were the worst on one day since the clampdown started. A grenade attack in early November killed one person.

The Indian government has insisted that “normalcy” is returning to occupied Kashmir, but locals are still cut off from the internet and dozens of political leaders remain in detention.

Food shops are only open for a few hours each day and no public buses and taxis have operated since the clampdown. Protests are held regularly.

A military spokesman claimed two fighters were killed in a siege in the Pulwama district on Monday and Tuesday. Media reports said both were Kashmiris.

An official said Indian forces cornered two fighters from the Hizbul Mujahideen group, killing one after a brief firefight on Monday night.

The other was shot dead in the early hours of Tuesday, he added.