Car bombing in Kashmir kills Indian troops
Several Indian paramilitary personnel were killed in a car bombing on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir, local media reports said.
An explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a paramilitary bus in Awantipora, a town along the highway connecting state capital Srinagar to Anantnag, a southern district.
News agency Press Trust of India said 18 paramilitary personnel were killed in the attack and 40 others wounded.
Two former chief ministers of the state have tweeted about the attack.
"Disturbing news coming in from Awantipora. Twelve of our security personnel have been martyred and several have been injured," Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
"Terrible news coming from the valley. A number of CRPF soldiers are reported to have been killed & injured in an IED blast. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. My prayers for the injured & condolences to the families of the bereaved. #Kashmir," Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Pro-Pakistan militant outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.