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Blast kills at least 18 police in Kashmir

Soldiers examine debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Younis Khaliq

SRINAGAR – A bomb blast killed at least 18 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on Thursday, police said, a day after an explosion wounded a dozen schoolchildren in the state.

The Indian-ruled part of Kashmir has been plagued by violence for years, with clashes between security forces and militants killing more than 100 civilians over the past year.

Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) took responsibility for the attack, according to local news agency GNS.

The explosion was heard from several miles away. Mohammad Yunis, a journalist who reached the site minutes after the explosion, told Reuters he saw blood and body parts scattered along a 100-metre stretch on the highway.

Kashmir’s Police Chief S.P. Pani said the Central Reserve Police Force had suffered major damage.

“It is a terror incident and we are looking into the possibility of what led to the blast. We are going to go for post blast investigation”, he said.

At least 12 students were injured in an explosion at a school in Kashmir on Wednesday, police said, though the cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

Reuters/14/02/2019

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