At least six people have been killed and more than a dozen wounded by a car bombing in Srinigar, in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by an Islamic militant group fighting for Kashmir to break free of Indian control.
Police say preliminary investigations suggest a car, packed with explosives, was driven into the back of a military convoy as it drove through Kashmir's summer capital, Srinigar. At least five of those killed were soldiers.
The blast took place near a school in a high-security zone, prompting worried parents to rush to the area. Authorities say no children are among the injured.
Witnesses say remnants of the the car bomb and the military vehicles lay in the street near the school, along with body parts.
Suicide attacks are not uncommon in Kashmir, a border region divided between India and Pakistan, that each country claims in its entirety. India has been fighting an Islamic insurgency since 1989 in the two-thirds of Kashmir it controls.
Brahma Chellaney, an analyst with the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, says terrorism has deep roots in India. "No major terrorist attack has ever been perpetrated in the West without it first having happened in India," he said. "Whether it was a commercial jetliner being bombed, it first happened with an Air India jetliner. Whether it
was the bombing of a city transportation system, much before Madrid and London it happened in Bombay."
Kashmir's militant groups want the predominantly Muslim region to be independent, or to merge with predominantly Muslim Pakistan. The competing claims over the region have led to two of the three wars India has fought with Pakistan, a nuclear rival, since both nations were founded in 1947.
India and Pakistan are now engaged in peace talks. But India still demands that Pakistan do more to dismantle what it calls the "infrastructure of terror" - support systems and bases within Pakistan where militants prepare for attacks in Indian-held Kashmir.
Pakistan denies providing any support to militants.
Speaking Tuesday before a joint session of the US Congress in Washington, where he was wrapping up a state visit, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said terrorism is one of the problems that brings India and the United States together.
"India and the United States have both suffered previously from terrorism and we must make common cause against it. We know that those who resort to terror often clothe it in the garb of real or imaginary grievances," stated Mr. Singh. "We must categorically affirm that no grievance can justify resort and recourse to terror."
Responsibility for the attack Wednesday was claimed by Hizbul Mujahedin, one of the several militant groups operating in Kashmir. More than 60,000 people have been killed since the Kashmir dispute began.