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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Schoolboy killed as grenade misses target in Kashmir

A schoolboy was killed and two other children wounded in Kashmir on Thursday when a grenade thrown by suspected Muslim militants at a police party missed the target.

Four others, including two soldiers, were also wounded in the explosion that took place in Tangmarg, a tourist resort west of Srinagar.

The fresh violence in the disputed region came a day after a frontline militant group, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, offered a conditional truce during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is expected to begin at the weekend.

Earlier on Thursday soldiers shot dead four suspected militants near the Pakistani border in Uri, 100 km west of Srinagar, an army spokesman said.

Indian authorities say violence in Kashmir has declined after New Delhi and Islamabad launched peace talks nearly three years ago to resolve their historical dispute.

Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan but both claim it in full. The nuclear-armed rivals have fought two of their three wars over the mountainous region, where more than 45,000 people have been killed in nearly 17 years of an anti-India insurgency.

The peace process suffered a setback in July when Mumbai was hit by a wave of bombings which security agencies then blamed on militants based in Pakistan.

But after a recent meeting on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Cuba, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf agreed to resume the stalled peace talks.

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