Car bomb targets Indian army vehicle in Kashmir, 2 killed

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SRINAGAR, India — Two Indian soldiers were killed after a car bombing targeted an armored vehicle in disputed Kashmir overnight, officials said Tuesday.

The bombing late Monday struck the army vehicle as it passed through southern Pulwama area and wounded more than a dozen soldiers and two civilians.

The two critically wounded soldiers died in a hospital on early Tuesday, said Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman. He said the damage was minimized due to the alertness of the patrol party.

None of the rebel groups fighting against Indian rule since 1989 immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

It came days after Pakistan reportedly shared information with India and the United States about a possible militant attack in the Pulwama area. The Indian Express newspaper on Sunday reported that the intelligence shared by Pakistan was about “a possible attack by militants using an improvised explosive device mounted on a vehicle.”

In February, a Kashmiri militant targeted a paramilitary convoy with a car bomb and killed 40 Indian soldiers. It was the deadliest suicide car bombing against Indian soldiers in the region’s history and brought India and Pakistan close to war.

Also on Tuesday, two rebels and a soldier were killed and two other soldiers were wounded in a gunfight in southern Bijbehara area.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, a divided Himalayan territory claimed by both India and Pakistan.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels’ demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown.

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