Two hurt in blast near Kashmir polling station

 

Two men were wounded in Indian Kashmir today when suspected militants set off a bomb near a polling station.

Police said the men injured in the explosion in Kupwara district were civilians, but it was not clear whether they were voters.

The bombing added to the violence that has gripped the state as voting for a new assembly got under way.

Voters in Jammu and Kashmir began choosing a new state assembly today, and separatist Muslim rebels have threatened further violence to derail a poll India wants to flag as an endorsement of its rule.

Just hours before voting started, a policeman was killed when suspected rebels fired on two polling stations in the southern part of the state.

Paramilitary police guarded polling stations on the first of four voting days between now and October 8th in the disputed Himalayan region at the centre of a military stand-off between India and Pakistan.

Many Kashmiris, frightened by the violence and disillusioned by Indian rule, say privately they will not vote, but there were long queues in some places and an election officials are satisfied with the early turnout.