Indian Kashmir chief escapes grenade attack

 

The chief minister of India's Jammu and Kashmir state has escaped an attempt on his life when two grenades were fired at him as he inaugurated a government building, an Indian paramilitary official says.

One grenade failed to explode and the other missed the building and exploded in a nearby marshy area without causing casualties, the official said today.

Chief Minister Mr Farooq Abdullah was inaugurating the building at Bemina in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Himalayan state at the heart of a confrontation with Pakistan, when the grenades were fired.

Mr Abdullah, who has escaped many attempts on his life and is guarded by elite commandos, is hated by separatist militants in India's only Muslim-majority state for his strong pro-India position.

About a dozen Muslim militant groups are fighting New Delhi's rule in the state. India accuses Pakistan of stoking the 12-year-old rebellion by pushing militants across a ceasefire line dividing the disputed region, a charge Pakistan denies