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Indian Official Is Targeted in Kashmir Attack

June 16, 2002|From Times Wire Services

SRINAGAR, India — The chief minister of India's Jammu and Kashmir state escaped an attempt on his life Saturday when two grenades were fired at a government building he was inaugurating in the region's main city, police said.

In a separate attack later in the day, two children were killed when unidentified militants hurled a grenade and fired on a group of Hindu devotees east of Jammu, the state's winter capital.

The attack on Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah came as Indian and Pakistani troops traded fresh fire across their frontier in disputed Kashmir.

"One grenade exploded in the air, while another fell about 600 yards away from the venue of the function. No harm was caused," police said in a statement.

Abdullah was opening a state education board building in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state at the heart of the hostility with Pakistan. His attendance had been kept secret for safety reasons.

In the later incident, at Kishtwar, about 100 miles east of Jammu, police said a group of devotees was returning from a temple festival when the militants lobbed a grenade and opened fire.

A man identifying himself as a spokesman of the previously unheard-of Al Medina Regiment telephoned the Reuters office in Srinagar and claimed responsibility for the attack on Abdullah.

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